September 08, 1992

Seven states hold primary elections today for major offices after campaigns that offered a taste of topics to come in November. From the Alaska hustings, to the Wisconsin homes getting political ads, to Florida and its post-hurricane balloting, the issues included the economy, the federal deficit, abortion, family values and whether to oust or spare incumbents.

The highlights:

* ALASKA: Ten-term Republican Rep. Don Young, involved in House check scandal, against state Sen. Virginia Collins. Democratic Valdez Mayor John Devens against state Sen. Pat Rodey. Two-term Republican Sen. Frank Murkowski without strong GOP primary opposition. Democrats ex-state Commerce Commissioner Tony Smith and businessman Willie Hensley square off.

* ARIZONA: Retired Air Force Gen. Truman Spangrud against Claire Sargent, Phoenix community activist, for Democratic Senate nomination. Winner to face Republican John McCain, a Keating Five senator. U.S. Rep. John J. Rhodes III, a Republican, against four challengers for seat his father held for 30 years. U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, a Republican, against conservative engineer, Michael Beehler.

* FLORIDA: Voting in Dade County, delayed by Hurricane Andrew, to decide whether former U.S. District Court Judge Alcee Hastings enters House runoff. Accused of taking bribes, Mr. Hastings was impeached by House and removed by Senate in 1989. Three blacks are running in another Dade County district's Democratic primary. Absence of GOP candidate likely to give Florida its first black in Congress since Reconstruction. In a third district, either Lincoln Diaz-Balart or Javier Souto, both Republican state senators, will be elected in the absence of a Democratic candidate.

* NEW HAMPSHIRE: Republican Gov. Judd Gregg wants to succeed retiring Sen. Warren Rudman. Crowded GOP field led by construction executive Hal Eckman. Democratic front-runner John Rauh, a millionaire and abortion rights advocate. Voters picking nominees for governor. Leading GOP field, former state Attorney General Steven Merrill against state Rep. Elizabeth Hager. Democrats for governor: state Rep. Arnie Arnesen, backing state's first income tax, former Rep. Norman D'Amours and health consultant Ned Helms.

First-term Reps. Bill Zeliff, a Republican, and Dick Swett, a Democrat, face primary opposition.

* UTAH: Millionaire Republicans Joe Cannon and Robert Bennett waged costly fight for GOP nomination aiming to succeed retiring Sen. Jake Garn. Seeking Democratic nod, U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens, management consultant Douglas Anderson. Republican Gov. Norm Bangerter leaving after two terms. Political consultant Richard Eyre and insurance executive Mike Leavitt seek GOP primary nomination to replace him. GOP winner to face independent Merrill Cook, Democrats Pat Shea or Stewart Hanson Jr., and third party candidates in November.

* VERMONT: GOP Senate primary offers secretary of state James Douglas and businessman John Gropper. Winner to face Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, favored to win fourth term.

Republican voters choosing challenger to U.S. Rep. Bernard Sanders, a socialist and only House independent. Lewis Young has Democratic nod.

* WISCONSIN: Democrats U.S. Rep. Jim Moody, state Rep. Russell Feingold, millionaire businessman Joe Checota tangled in primary race for U.S. Senate. Winner to face two-term Republican Sen. Robert Kasten, who is expected to defeat chemical engineer Roger Faulkner.

* VIRGIN ISLANDS: St. Thomas primaries for U.S. territory's seven Senate seats.

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