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A look at Tuesday's primaries in Texas and Georgia
Voters in Texas and Georgia go to the polls Tuesday. Significant races :
TEXAS (polls open at 8 a.m. EDT and close at 9 p.m. EDT)
¯¯¯Senate runoff: The GOP establishment is butting heads with tea party activists in the Senate primary. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is leaning on his party's old guard while tea party superstars are closing ranks around conservative insurgent Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general. Dewhurst defeated Cruz by 10 percentage points in the May state primary, which featured a field of nine Republican hopefuls who split the vote, forcing a runoff. Dewhurst's allies include Gov. Rick Perry. Cruz is being backed by Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, radio host Glenn Beck and former Rep. Dick Armey, the chairman of the grassroots group FreedomWorks. The winner of the GOP runoff is considered the overwhelming favorite in November's general election to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
GEORGIA (polls open at 7 a.m. EDT and close at 7 p.m. EDT)
¯¯¯9th Congressional District: In north Georgia, three Republicans are competing for the GOP nomination for a new seat gained from population growth tracked by the 2010 Census. The race pits conservative talk radio host Martha Zoller against veteran state Rep. Doug Collins and retired school principal Roger Fitzpatrick. While Zoller has been endorsed by conservative stars Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain, Collins served as a legislative point man for GOP Gov. Nathan Deal, whose hometown of Gainesville is in the district. The new district leans steeply Republican, which will present a difficult challenge for Democratic attorney Jody Cooley in November.
¯¯¯12th Congressional District: Four Republicans in east Georgia are running for the GOP nomination to oppose Rep. John Barrow, Congress' last white Democrat from the Deep South. His 12th District was redrawn last year to remove his political base of Savannah, improving the seat's odds for Republicans and forcing the four-term congressman to move to Augusta. State Rep. Lee Anderson, a farmer, faces construction firm owner Rick W. Allen, attorney and retired Navy pilot Wright McLeod and attorney Maria Sheffield. Their primary race is almost certain to end in a runoff Aug. 21. All four Republican contenders have dedicated six-figure sums of their own money to the primary campaign, their personal loans totaling $668,000.
¯¯¯Atlanta Gridlock Tax: The metropolitan area has some of the worst traffic in the U.S. The region's political and business leaders are pushing for a 1-cent increase in the sales tax to pay for billions of dollars in highway improvements and other transportation projects. A dozen regions across Georgia will vote independently on the tax increase, which could generate more than $18 billion statewide for transportation projects over the next decade. Gov. Nathan Deal and other pro-business Republicans supporting the tax increase are at odds with tea party leaders who argue that government can't be trusted to manage the tax revenue responsibly. Black Democrats say the plan devotes little to mass transit and overlooks some sections of the city. Environmental groups fear more pollution and development.
Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Austin, Texas, Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., and Errin Haines in Atlanta contributed to this report.