Florida Gov. Bob Graham and Sen. Paula Hawkins face their first hurdles today en route to a senatorial race confrontation in November, while Nevada voters begin choosing a successor to retiring Republican Sen. Paul Laxalt.
Both states have primaries for governor also, with five Democrats and four Republicans in Florida hoping to replace Graham, a two-term Democrat, and five Republicans seeking the nomination to oppose Nevada's Democratic Gov. Richard H. Bryan.
In Georgia, former civil rights allies Julian Bond and John Lewis are meeting in a runoff for the Democratic nomination in the 5th Congressional District. The GOP nomination also is being decided by a runoff, between former Atlanta police officer David Yood and journalist Portia Scott.
The Democratic congressional runoff was set up when Bond narrowly missed winning a majority in a seven-way primary Aug. 12.
In Florida, Graham and Hawkins each must overcome one opponent in the primary. Graham is being challenged by gay rights activist Bob Kunst, who criticized the governor for vetoing a bill providing research money for AIDS. Hawkins' GOP opponent is Jon Larsen Shudlick, a real estate broker and mayor of the Palm Beach County town of Ocean Ridge.
In Nevada, Republicans hoping to keep Laxalt's seat in their column have drafted former Rep. Jim Santini, who served four terms in Congress as a Democrat. The Democratic front-runner is two-term Rep. Harry Reid.