Voters in Idaho, Michigan and Georgia picked candidates for governor and senate in primaries yesterday, while in Missouri a statewide initiative on the ballot would increase taxes.
All four states also picked House candidates.
While tax revolt fever was sweeping the country - and was a major factor in Idaho's race for governor - Missouri voters were deciding whether to increase the State's gasoline tax from 7 to 10 cents a gallon. The issue was put on the ballot by citizens who want the money to repair state roads.
Two of the more interesting House races featured Betty Talmadge, the cookbook-writing ex-wife of Sen. Herman E. Talmadge (D-Ga.), and Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.), favored to win a 13th term despite the fact that he is under indictment for 35 counts of misuse of government funds.
Betty Talmadge was in a stiff three way Democratic contest with state Sens. Virginia Shapard and Peter Banks for the seat being vacated by Rep. John J. Flynt Jr. (D-Ga.).
In another Georgia House contest, Rep. Larry McDonald, a national officer the John Birch Society, faced a strong challenge by carpet magnate Smith Foster. McDonald, a doctor, was ordered to pay $15,000 in medical costs to the family of a patient who died of lung cancer after being treated with Laetrile.
Diggs , who has served 12 terms, may benefit from the indictment charging him in a payroll kickback scheme. He was campaigned harder than ever to keep his seat, and many voters in his predominantly black Detroit district feel he is the target of the white establishment.
The races for governor and Senate took a back seat to the more interesting House contest, mainly because all incumbent were either heavily favored or had no opposition.
The races at a glance:
Georgia - Gov. George Busbee and Sen. Sam Nunn, both Democrats, face nominal opposition, and voting was reported light throughout the state. Busbee had five opponents, including self-declared "white racist" J. B. Stoner, Sen. Roscoe Dean, the only state law-maker ever censured by his colleagues, and Nick Belluso, was tried to hypnotize voters in his television ads.
Michigan - Despite perfect weather, voting was reported light. Sen. Robert Griffin had minimal opposition, and Gov. William Milliken none on the Republican side. State Sen. William Fitzgerald was leading the four-way Democratic race for governor, and millionaire newspaper publisher Phil Powers and Detroit City Council President Carl Levin were leading the Democratic Senate contest.
Idaho - Gov. John Evans, a Democrat, was unopposed. Idaho's version of proposition 13, which will be on the November ballot, is the main issue in the six-way Republican race for governor. State GOP Chairman Vernon Ravenscroft was the best-known candidate in a field that included former major league pitcher Larry Jackson. Temperatures as high as 100 degrees brought out a moderate turnout of voters.
Missouri - All 10 of the state's incumbent congressmen were favored to win renomination. Former two-term Gov. Warren Hearnes was favored to make a successful comeback in a race for state auditor.
Meanwhile, in Knowville, Tenn., with a 672-vote victory, social worker Margaret Francis has won the right to oppose Second District U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan (R-Tenn.) in the November general election.
A canvass of last Thursday's primary shows that Francis won the Democreatic nomination with 17,659 votes in the district's nine counties. Rival Steven Wallace tallied 16,987.
Wallace, a Knoxville resident who works for Union Carbide at Oak Ridge, had conceded earlier, but the official vote totals were not made available until yesterday.