Battle for control of Congress advances in seven states

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - A bitterly personal matchup in New York between a convicted felon seeking to reclaim his congressional seat from a former prosecutor is among dozens of key races in seven U.S. states on Tuesday, as voters pick candidates for November elections that will determine control of Congress.

Voters in Colorado, Maryland, South Carolina, Utah, Oklahoma and Mississippi will also select competitors for the Nov. 6 elections, when Democrats will seek to wrest control of Congress from U.S. President Donald Trump's Republican Party.

Democrats need to flip 23 of 435 seats to gain control of the House of Representatives, which would stymie much of Trump's agenda while opening up new avenues of investigation into his administration. They would have to net two seats to take the Senate, but face longer odds there, according to analysts.

Residents of New York City's Staten Island borough will decide whether to give Republican Michael Grimm, fresh off a prison term for tax fraud, a chance to return to his old seat in Congress, three years after he resigned following his guilty plea.

24 PHOTOS
Inside the June 26 primary
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Inside the June 26 primary
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm speaks to reporters after voting on primary day June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm is running in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm speaks to reporters after voting on primary day June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm is running in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm votes at an elementary school on primary day June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm is running in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District against incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm votes at an elementary school on primary day June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm is running in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm votes at an elementary school on primary day June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm is running in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
OREM, UT - JUNE 26: A Romney supporter listens to a speaker as he wears a 'Make America Great Again' hat at the Mitt Romney election party on June 26, 2018 in Orem, Utah. It is primary election day in Utah and Romney is running for the Utah U.S. Senate seat of Senator Orin Hatch who is retiring. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 26: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster addresses the crowd during a gubernatorial primary runoff election watch party at Spirit Communications Park on June 26, 2018 in Columbia, South Carolina. The incumbent McMaster defeated businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
The shadows of attendees are cast on hoardings as they wait for election results during an election night rally for Mitt Romney, Republican U.S Senate candidate, in Orem, Utah, U.S., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Romney, the ex-presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor, is favored to win Tuesday's GOP primary for the seat of retiring Senator Orrin Hatch. Photographer: Kim Raff/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Republican Congressional candidate and former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm talks with supporters after conceding the race during a primary election night event, June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm was defeated in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District by incumbent and U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
An attendee wears a 'Make America Great Again' hat during an election night rally for Mitt Romney, Republican U.S Senate candidate, in Orem, Utah, U.S., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Romney, the ex-presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor, is favored to win Tuesday's GOP primary for the seat of retiring Senator Orrin Hatch. Photographer: Kim Raff/Bloomberg via Getty Images
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 26: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster takes a phone call from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during a gubernatorial primary runoff election watch party at Spirit Communications Park on June 26, 2018 in Columbia, South Carolina. The incumbent McMaster defeated businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Republican Congressional candidate and former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm speaks during a primary election night event, June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm was defeated in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District by incumbent and U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
OREM, UT - June 26: A Romney supporter shows off her American Flag at the Mitt Romney election party on June 26, 2018 in Orem, Utah. It is primary election day in Utah and Romney is running for the Utah U.S. Senate seat of Senator Orin Hatch who is retiring. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 26: U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, left, celebrates her leading challenger Saira Rao in Democratic primary for Denver-based congressional seat with her husband Lino Lipinsky at Angelo's Taverna June 25, 2018. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Supporters await election results during a primary election night event for Republican Congressional candidate and former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm was defeated in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District by incumbent and U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A 'Vote Here' sign is displayed outside of a polling location during the primary election in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Voters go to the polls today in seven states including Utah where Mitt Romney appears to be on track to advance in his bid for a Senate seat. Photographer: Kim Raff/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CAYCE, SC - JUNE 26: A voter exits a polling station during a primary runoff election at an American Legion hall on June 26, 2018 in Cayce, South Carolina. The most notable race is a runoff election for the Republican nomination for governor with incumbent Henry McMaster going up against businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHAPIN, SC - JUNE 26: A poll worker holds voting stickers during a primary runoff election on June 26, 2018 in Chapin, South Carolina. The most notable race is for governor, featuring incumbent Henry McMaster against businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, SC - JUNE 26: A woman casts a vote during a primary runoff election at American Legion Post #7 on June 26, 2018 in Lexington, South Carolina. The most notable race is a runoff election for the Republican nomination for governor with incumbent Henry McMaster going up against businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CAYCE, SC - JUNE 26: Poll worker Juanita Orr helps a voter during a primary runoff election at an American Legion hall on June 26, 2018 in Cayce, South Carolina. The most notable race is a runoff election for the Republican nomination for governor with incumbent Henry McMaster going up against businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CAYCE, SC - JUNE 26: Poll workers check in a voter during a primary runoff election at an American Legion hall on June 26, 2018 in Cayce, South Carolina. The most notable race is a runoff election for the Republican nomination for governor with incumbent Henry McMaster going up against businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: A DJ plays music during a primary election night event for Republican Congressional candidate and former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, June 26, 2018 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Grimm was defeated in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District by incumbent and U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BROOMFIELD, CO - JUNE 26: Caspian Polis, 6, son of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, seems giddy as his father accepts the nomination for Colorado Governor during his watch party at the Flatiron Ballroom in the Renaissance Boulder Flatiron Hotel on June 26, 2018 in Broomfield, Colorado. Polis beat 3 other democratic candidates in the primary election which included Cary Kennedy, Mike Johnston, and Donna Lynne. Polis' son Caspian, 6, is seen in front. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
CHAPIN, SC - JUNE 26: A poll worker holds voting stickers during a primary runoff election on June 26, 2018 in Chapin, South Carolina. The most notable race is for governor, featuring incumbent Henry McMaster against businessman John Warren. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
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The race has seen the candidates trade personal insults and accusations of lying, with Trump's presence looming above it all.

Grimm, a bombastic former FBI agent known for once threatening to toss a television reporter off a balcony, has attacked incumbent Republican Representative Dan Donovan, the borough's former district attorney, for not sufficiently supporting Trump.

Donovan, who earned Trump's endorsement in May, has responded by calling attention to Grimm's criminal conviction.

The district is considered within reach for Democrats in November.

"They should have a reality show: 'The Real Candidates of Staten Island,'" said Douglas Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College. "It's nasty, it's personal – and it's enjoyable to watch."

DEMOCRATIC BATTLES

Voters in upstate New York will pick among seven Democrats in one of this year's most expensive House campaigns. Republican first-term incumbent John Faso is considered vulnerable in November, and his potential challengers have collectively raised more than $7 million.

In Colorado, an establishment-backed Democrat and a liberal insurgent are vying to take on incumbent Republican Representative Mike Coffman, whose district favored Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016.

Jason Crow, an Iraq war veteran backed by the national party, is facing Levi Tillemann, who was endorsed by Our Revolution, a group born out of Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid. Tillemann earned attention this month with an anti-gun violence video in which he blasted himself in the face with pepper spray.

South Carolina's Republican contest for governor is the latest test of Trump's sway among party voters. The president campaigned on Monday alongside Governor Henry McMaster, who is in a tight nominating battle with businessman John Warren. The winner is likely to prevail in November.

Voters will also pick Senate candidates in states including Utah and Maryland. Analysts say Democrats face a steep climb trying to take that chamber, as they are defending seats in states like Indiana, Montana and North Dakota that supported Trump two years ago.

41 PHOTOS
Mitt Romney through the years
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Mitt Romney through the years
Mitt Romney campaigning for US Senate against Senator Ted Kennedy in Boston, MA in 1994. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
2008 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) in an archive family photo with his father George (C) and his brother Scott in 1965, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
2008 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an archive family photo with his now wife Ann Davis in 1964. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
US Senate candidate Mitt Romney speaking at senior center in Chelsea, MA in 1994. Romney is challenging Senator Ted Kennedy. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
2008 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an archive family photo at age 11, in 1958. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
2008 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an archive family photo with his father George in their Michigan family home in 1957. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Mitt Romney, candidate for US Senate from MA, with his wife Ann Romney after receiving the endorsement of the Boston Police Patrolman's Association in Boston, MA in October 24,1994. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY - FEBRUARY 9: Mitt Romney, Chairman of the Salt Lake City Olympics Organizing Committee on the first night at the Medals Ceremonies in The Medals Plaza. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
399749 01: Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) President and CEO Mitt Romney speaks about the upcoming 2002 Olympic Winter Games at a press conference January 16, 2002 at SLOC Headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. The winter games begin February 8, 2002. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
8 Feb 2002: President and CEO of SLOC Mitt Romney chats with President George W. Bush during the Opening Ceremony at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney listens to a reporter's question during a news conference prior to the legislature's Constitutional Convention to consider a proposed amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman February 11, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The proposed amendment, supported by Governor Mitt Romney, was drafted in response to a state Supreme Judicial Court ruling declaring same-sex marriage constitutional. (Photo by Michael Springer/Getty Images)
BOSTON - DECEMBER 17: On the way to Revere to hold a press conference about housing, Gov. Mitt Romney enjoys his ride on the Blue Line. (Photo by Janet Knott/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOLYOKE - JANUARY 9: Eighth grade student Tirsa Romero at the John J. Lynch Middle School sits behind Gov. Mitt Romney and State Education Commissioner David Driscoll, left, as they view a video that the governor brought to show the 400 students that gathered for his appearance. The governor talked to the students about the choices you make in life and the video was about Olympic Gold Medal skier Janica Kostelic, of Croatia, and how she over came injuries and the dedication she had to her training that rewarded her with a Gold Medal at the Utah Olympics. (Photo by Tom Landers/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - JULY 3: Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney shakes hands with members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir prior to their rehearsal for the 4th of July show at the Hatch Shell Thursday evening. (Photo by David Kamerman/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Republican Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigning with his wife Anne Romney at the Granite Oath PAC's 2011 Presidential Candidate Reception at the home of Ovide and Bettie Lamontagne in Manchester, NH on August 12, 2011 (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
Republican Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigning with his wife Anne Romney at the Granite Oath PAC's 2011 Presidential Candidate Reception at the home of Ovide and Bettie Lamontagne in Manchester, NH on August 12, 2011 (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann greet supporters at a campaign rally after the conclusion of the Iowa Caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis via Getty Images)
GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney speaks to supporters as his wife Ann and four of his five sons watch at a campaign rally after the conclusion of the Iowa Caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis via Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks after receiving the endorsement of former primary rival Mitt Romney, right, at Romney's campaign headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts February 14, 2008. Romney asked his 200-plus delegates to vote for McCain at the Republican convention this summer. REUTERS/Neal Hamberg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
Former Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks during the third session of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) laughs with his grandson Parker Mitt Romney, 18 months, as he campaigns at the William D. Ford Senior Center in Taylor, Michigan January 13, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich share a laugh during a break in the Republican presidential candidates debate in Charleston, South Carolina, January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa December 30, 2011, ahead of the Iowa Caucus on January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann gather before the start of their debate in Ames, Iowa August 11, 2011 REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney holds a baby in the audience at a campaign stop at Centro Incorporated in North Liberty, Iowa December 28, 2011. The Iowa Caucus will be held on January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) introduces U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice-presidential running mate during a campaign event at the retired battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, August 11, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum speaks as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) looks on during the Republican presidential candidates debate in Mesa, Arizona, February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney kisses his wife Ann at his Illinois primary night rally in Schaumburg, Illinois, March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hands Madison Busch, 1, to her mother after a campaign event at an RV dealer in Loveland, Colorado February 7, 2012. The Colorado caucuses take place today. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama speak directly to each other during the second U.S. presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) and vice-presidential nominee U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) wave to the crowd at a campaign rally in Fishersville, Virginia October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the start of the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate in Denver October 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney watches the Vice Presidential debate in his hotel room in Asheville, North Carolina October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney waves as he arrives onstage to accept the nomination during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former Republican U.S. presidential nominee Mitt Romney criticizes current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a speech at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former Massachusetts Governor and two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and five-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield stare down during their weigh-in before their boxing match in Holladay, Utah May 14, 2015. The two will box on Friday to benefit the medical charity CharityVision. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney after their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sits at a table for dinner with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) and his choice for White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L) at Jean-Georges at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looks up at people waving to him from an open window after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 18: Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney attends the game between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz on October 18, 2017 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks after a dinner meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges inside of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to earn his party's Senate nomination in Utah, while Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in military prison for leaking classified data, is a long shot in Maryland's Democratic nominating contest against incumbent Senator Ben Cardin. (Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)

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