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    Anthony Albanese to Become Australian Prime Minister

    Like Biden before him, Anthony Albanese enters office more on the back of disgust at the conservative incumbent than enthusiasm for his leadership.SYDNEY, Australia — The incumbent prime minister, Scott Morrison, pushed Australia to the right and called himself “a bit of a bulldozer.” His Labor challenger, Anthony Albanese, ran as a modest Mr. Fix-It, promising to seek “renewal, not revolution.”In the end, moderation triumphed. Mr. Albanese won Saturday’s election with a campaign that was gaffe-prone and light on policy but promised a more decent form of politics, delivering a stark rejection of Mr. Morrison after nearly a decade of conservative leadership in Australia.It was a combination that carried powerful echoes of President Biden’s victory a year and a half ago. Both Mr. Albanese and Mr. Biden are political lifers, working-class battlers with decades of experience in government and reputations for pragmatic compromise.But they also both face the problem of how they won. Disgust with an incumbent put them into office. Governing, and staying in power, requires rallying enthusiasm from a fickle public.“It’s a question of whether he can be a galvanizing leader,” said Paul Strangio, a politics professor at Monash University in Melbourne. “Whether he can learn on the job.”In a reflection of Australia’s broader mood of discontent, voters did not just grant Labor a clear victory. They delivered a larger share of their support to minor parties and independents who ran against the political status quo, with a surge of grass-roots enthusiasm for candidates demanding more action on climate change and greater accountability in government.Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceding defeat on Saturday in Sydney.Loren Elliott/ReutersIn Sydney, Allegra Spender, an independent, was projected to defeat Dave Sharma, a moderate from the conservative Liberal Party. In Melbourne, the current treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, who has often been mentioned as a future prime minister, was projected to lose to another independent, Monique Ryan, a pediatrician, while Zoe Daniel, an independent and a former journalist, also won in the city’s bayside suburbs.“What this says is that community can make a difference,” Ms. Daniel said at a victory party on Saturday night.“Climate, integrity, equality,” she added. “We now have a chance to actually make a difference.”In addition to the victories by independents, minor parties — from the Greens on the left to the United Australia Party on the right — also made gains, delivering what analysts described as a “tipping point” in a country that has been gradually moving away from major party dominance.“Voters have sent the major parties the message that their support can’t be guaranteed,” said Jill Sheppard, a politics professor at the Australian National University.“It’s really a massive shift,” she added. “And it’s one we don’t really have our heads around yet.”Australian voters have called for more action on climate change after severe flooding and bush fires.Matthew Abbott for The New York TimesFor Mr. Albanese, who has spent his entire career in Labor Party politics, including 23 years in Parliament, this sea change presents an unexpected challenge.Contrasting his approach with the pugnacious style of Mr. Morrison — who led a government that passed little memorable legislation but successfully managed the early months of the pandemic — Mr. Albanese ran a “small target” campaign.He proposed incremental reforms, including a promise to increase the minimum wage and provide more support for health care, nursing homes and child care. Mostly, though, he focused on altering the tone and style of leadership.“I want to change politics,” he said after voting on Saturday in the Sydney neighborhood where he grew up. “I want to change the way it operates.”Without a grand and well-defined vision already sold to the electorate, some analysts said it would be more difficult for Mr. Albanese to make rapid progress on his agenda.“It doesn’t make it impossible, but governments need momentum,” said Tim Soutphommasane, a politics professor at the University of Sydney.Some of the issues voters want addressed are unsurprising. The cost of living is rising. Businesses are struggling with labor shortages and wondering when the usual flows of skilled migrant workers will return. The pandemic has revealed gaps in health care and nursing homes.A Covid-19 ward in Melbourne. Gaps in health care, laid bare by the pandemic, were of concern to voters.Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York TimesBigger questions — about how to bring light to a political system awash in dark money, or how to build a less racist, more equal society, or how to counter a more ambitious and belligerent China — were largely sidestepped by both Labor and its opponents in the campaign.“It’s been a very mundane election campaign, but that doesn’t deny the fact that there is still a global pandemic and a war and shifting global power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific,” said Professor Sheppard, of the Australian National University.Mr. Albanese, 59, does arrive with a reputation for building consensus, and for nodding toward colleagues in his cabinet on issues in which they have greater expertise. During the campaign, Penny Wong, who will serve as foreign minister, announced Labor’s plans to expand aid and diplomatic ties to Southeast Asia in an effort to counter Chinese influence.“He’s got an experienced and pretty talented frontbench, so I expect he will govern in a very collegial way,” said Professor Strangio, of Monash University.“The general view is he’s workmanlike,” he added. “He’s not exceptional. But maybe that’s the sort of leader we need — workmanlike, incremental change, dogged, doesn’t think he’s the smartest man in the room at all times. Maybe it’s the kind of government that would suit Australia’s circumstances.”In the best of times, Australians tend to see their government as a service provider more than a battleground for ideology. Now, with the pressures from the pandemic and the geopolitical fallout of the Ukraine war, they are even more eager to see policies that produce tangible results, and they are less convinced that traditional party politics can do the job.A polling station at Bondi Beach in Sydney on Saturday. Many voters threw their support to minor parties and independents who ran against the political status quo. Steven Saphore/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images“We have these antiquated parties that are male-dominated,” said Roslyn Lunsford, 74, a voter in Western Sydney on Saturday. “It’s the same old, same old — we need a broom to go through.”As if he could sense the need for a bolder policy statement, Mr. Albanese opened his acceptance speech Saturday night with a promise to support the Uluru Statement From the Heart, a call from Indigenous Australians to establish a formal role for Australia’s First Nations people in the Constitution. It was issued in 2017 — and rejected by the conservative coalition.Similarly, Mr. Albanese pledged to make equal opportunity for women a national priority, to end Australia’s “climate wars,” which have held back pledges for emissions cuts, and to make the country a renewable energy superpower.Recognizing increased concern about integrity in government and oversight of public spending, Mr. Albanese also promised to quickly pass legislation to create a federal anticorruption commission, following through on an unfulfilled promise from Mr. Morrison in the last election.“Tomorrow we begin the work of building a better future,” he said. “A better future for all Australians.”Supporters of Mr. Albanese reacting to polling updates in Sydney on Saturday. Jaimi Joy/ReutersTo get it done, he now has to persuade a more fractured and more demanding country to believe in him and stick with him, at a time when it is cautiously emerging from two years of Covid isolation, with a surge of coronavirus cases, rising inflation and growing government debt all fueling anxiety.At the same time, China’s regional ambitions have become more threatening, with a new security agreement in the Solomon Islands. And the raging bush fires of 2020 have given way to extreme flooding — a relentless reminder of the country’s vulnerability to climate change, even as it remains the world’s largest exporter of coal.The challenges are colossal. The opposition from a more conservative Liberal Party promises to be fierce. And many analysts note that Mr. Albanese lacks the charisma of prior Labor leaders who won elections and moved the country in a new direction.“It usually takes excitement and a bit of dazzle in a Labor leader to change the government,” said James Curran, a historian at the University of Sydney. “Albanese upsets that historic apple cart.”Victoria Kim contributed reporting from Sydney, Natasha Frost from Melbourne and Yan Zhuang from Cessnock, Australia. More

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    Perdue Had Trump. In Georgia, Kemp Had Everything Else.

    David Perdue challenged Gov. Brian Kemp because of Donald Trump’s fury over his 2020 loss. Thoroughly outflanked and failing to gain traction, he is now staring down defeat.In September 2021, former Senator David Perdue was hemming and hawing about running for governor of Georgia. Over dinner with an old friend on Sea Island, he pulled out his iPhone and showed the list of calls he’d gotten from Donald J. Trump, lobbying him to take the plunge.“He said Trump called him all the time,” said Martha Zoller, a former aide to Mr. Perdue who now hosts a talk radio show in Gainesville, Ga. “He showed me on his phone these multiple recent calls and said they were from the president.”Ms. Zoller and a legion of other former Perdue aides and advisers told the former senator that running was a bad idea. He listened to Mr. Trump instead.Now, Mr. Perdue is staring down an epic defeat at the hands of Gov. Brian Kemp, the Republican whom Mr. Trump has blamed for his 2020 loss more than any other person. The Perdue campaign is ending the race low on cash, with no ads on television and a candidate described even by his supporters as lackluster and distracted.“Perdue thought that Trump was a magic wand,” said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and a Trump ally, who was among Mr. Perdue’s highest-profile Georgia supporters. “In retrospect, it’s hard to understand David’s campaign, and it’s certainly not the campaign those of us who were for him expected.”Mr. Perdue’s impending downfall in Tuesday’s primary for governor looms as the biggest electoral setback for Mr. Trump since his own defeat in the 2020 election. There is perhaps no contest in which the former president has done more to try to influence the outcome. Mr. Trump recruited, promoted and cleared the field for his ally, while assailing Mr. Kemp, recording television ads and giving $2.64 million to groups helping Mr. Perdue — by far the most he has ever invested in another politician.Yet the race has exposed the limits of Mr. Trump’s sway, especially against entrenched Republican incumbents.Gov. Brian Kemp campaigning with former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey in Alpharetta, Ga., this past week. A recent poll showed him leading the Republican primary by more than 30 percentage points.Nicole Craine for The New York TimesMr. Perdue’s failures were not just of his own making. He was outflanked by a savvy incumbent in Mr. Kemp who exploited the powers of his office to cut off Mr. Perdue from allies — including Mr. Perdue’s own cousin Sonny, a former governor and Trump agriculture secretary whom Mr. Kemp’s allies appointed chancellor of the University System of Georgia.Mr. Kemp also appeared to punish those who crossed him: One congressional seat was drawn to exclude the home of a candidate whose father, a Perdue supporter, had publicly criticized the governor.And he offered goodies to voters, including a gas-tax holiday that conveniently runs through the end of May, just past the primary.How Donald J. Trump Still LoomsGrip on G.O.P.: Mr. Trump remains the most powerful figure in the Republican Party. However, there are signs his control is loosening.A Modern-Day Party Boss: Hoarding cash, doling out favors and seeking to crush rivals, Mr. Trump is behaving like the head of a 19th-century political machine.Power Struggle: Led by Senator Mitch McConnell, a band of anti-Trump Republicans is maneuvering to thwart the ex-president.Post-Presidency Profits: Mr. Trump is melding business with politics, capitalizing for personal gain.Just the Beginning: For many Trump supporters who marched on Jan. 6, the day was not a disgraced insurrection but the start of a movement.On Thursday, as Mr. Perdue campaigned outside the Semper Fi Bar and Grille in Woodstock, Ga., he was not conjuring up a path to victory but haggling over the scope of his widely expected defeat, after a Fox News survey showed him down 32 percentage points.“Hell no, I’m not down 30 points,” insisted Mr. Perdue, whose campaign did not respond to requests for comment for this article. “We may not win Tuesday,” he added, “but I guaran-damn-tee-you we are not down 30 points.”The key threshold on Tuesday is 50 percent: Mr. Kemp must win an outright majority in the five-candidate field to avoid a one-on-one runoff in June.The story of Mr. Perdue’s effort is less one of political collapse and more of a failure to launch. From the moment he announced his candidacy in December, Mr. Perdue never demonstrated the same commitment to winning that he displayed in his first Senate race in 2014.His case for ousting Mr. Kemp was always largely based on support from the former president. Mr. Perdue argued at his campaign introduction that the governor had so alienated the party’s Trump faithful that they would not rally around Mr. Kemp against Stacey Abrams, the presumptive Democratic nominee and a leading villain for Republicans.But Mr. Perdue, 72, a wealthy former chief executive of Dollar General, never came close to matching the $3.8 million of his own money he put into his 2014 Senate race. He invested just $500,000 in his bid for governor.That is less than he and his wife spent last year for a waterfront lot on a secluded peninsula on scenic St. Simons Island, a purchase made not long after his runoff defeat at the hands of a then-33-year-old Democrat that delivered Senate control to Democrats. A permit to build a nearly 12,000-square-foot mansion worth an estimated $5 million — on land including “over 625 feet of lake frontage,” according to the listing — was granted two weeks after he declared his candidacy, records show.Mr. Perdue’s home remains under construction on St. Simons Island in Georgia. Parker Stewart for The New York TimesMr. Trump has simultaneously invested heavily in Mr. Perdue, with his $2.64 million, and sought to avoid blame as the candidate has faltered, telling The New York Times in April that the news media’s focus “should be on the endorsements — not the David Perdue one” to measure his influence.Mr. Trump’s last rally in Georgia came in late March. He did not return, as Perdue allies had hoped, instead holding a conference call for supporters in early May.“I am with David all the way because Brian Kemp was the WORST governor in the Country on Election Integrity!” Mr. Trump insisted Friday on his Truth Social messaging platform.Mr. Perdue, like candidates for governor in Idaho and Nebraska this month, learned that a Trump endorsement alone does not assure the support of Trump voters or Trump donors.“The Trump endorsement is very important, but it’s only an endorsement,” said former Representative Jack Kingston, who lost the 2014 Senate primary to Mr. Perdue and is a former Trump adviser. “It’s not an army of infrastructure and door-knockers the way it would be if you have the Sierra Club or the N.R.A. or the A.F.L.-C.I.O.”Mr. Perdue, second from left, with Senator Kelly Loeffler, left, President Donald J. Trump and Melania Trump shortly after the 2020 election. Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler lost to Democrats in early 2021.Doug Mills/The New York TimesThe juxtaposition between the Kemp and Perdue camps was particularly stark on Friday.Mr. Kemp was outside Savannah, announcing that Hyundai was investing $5.5 billion in an electric battery and vehicle manufacturing plant, one of the largest economic development projects in Georgia history. There was a champagne toast.Mr. Perdue was nearby holding an endorsement event with Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, who is making her own comeback attempt in a House race in Alaska.“I would rather be standing on the stage announcing 7,500 jobs than standing next to Sarah Palin,” said Mr. Kemp’s lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, a fierce Trump critic who opted not to run for re-election this year.Randy Evans, a Perdue supporter who served as ambassador to Luxembourg in the Trump administration, said the Kemp operation had been ruthless in using what he called the “bullying” powers of the governorship.Mr. Evans’s son, Jake, is running for Congress in the Atlanta suburbs. When Kemp-aligned Republican legislators drew new lines in redistricting, the younger Mr. Evans was suddenly drawn out of the district in which he had been planning to run.“They cut a sliver about the size of your little finger,” the elder Mr. Evans said. “Jake had to move, buy a new house.”Mr. Kemp, 58, leveraged the powers of incumbency in other crucial ways. He signed a measure to provide tax refunds of up to $500 for married couples, then announced on May 11, after early voting had begun, that those checks were in the mail. He appealed to rural Georgians by raising pay for teachers, and pleased conservatives by signing sweeping legislation to restrict voting access, expand gun rights and forbid school mask mandates.Mr. Kemp at a campaign stop in Canton, Ga., this past week. He has signed several conservative priorities into law over the past year.Nicole Craine for The New York TimesMr. Perdue’s efforts could seem feeble in comparison. In March, he attacked Mr. Kemp for recruiting an electric truck maker to open a factory in rural Georgia — creating thousands of jobs — because George Soros, the prominent Democratic donor, had recently invested in the company.The Kemp-Perdue contest was steeped in the drama of personal betrayal.Mr. Kemp had spent weeks campaigning with Mr. Perdue before the senator’s defeat in the January 2021 Senate runoff election. By then, Mr. Kemp had infuriated Mr. Trump by defending the legitimacy of Georgia’s presidential results.Last spring, Mr. Kemp’s aides said, Mr. Perdue assured Mr. Kemp that he did not intend to run for governor. That June, Mr. Perdue introduced the governor at the Georgia Republican Party’s annual convention.In 2018, Mr. Perdue and Mr. Kemp appeared together during Mr. Kemp’s campaign for governor.Audra Melton for The New York TimesBut Mr. Kemp, cannily, had already begun the process of installing Sonny Perdue, a popular former governor, to run Georgia’s state universities — an appointment that effectively put him on the sidelines. (Sonny Perdue, through a spokesman, declined to comment.)Mr. Kemp also pre-emptively secured the loyalty and fund-raising might of Alec Poitevint, a South Georgia businessman who had served as campaign chairman for David Perdue’s Senate campaigns and Sonny Perdue’s campaigns for governor — one of many ways the Kemp operation boxed out Mr. Perdue financially.Mr. Poitevint said he was among a host of longtime David Perdue supporters who had urged him not to run.“I didn’t think it was serious,” Mr. Poitevint said. “I expressed the fact that I didn’t agree with it, that I thought that the governor had done a great job and deserved re-election.”Shunned by the state’s political establishment, Mr. Perdue tried framing himself as a political outsider — “I’ve been an outsider since I got into politics,” he said on Thursday — but that is a difficult case to make for a former senator boasting of his support from a former president.Even Mr. Trump’s $2.64 million infusion was swamped by the $5.2 million in television ads paid for by the Republican Governors Association to aid Mr. Kemp.For all of Mr. Trump’s attacks on Mr. Kemp, the governor never struck back. Mr. Kemp’s advisers believe that discipline helped provide permission for even the most devoted Trump supporters to stick with the governor.Mr. Perdue’s campaign, meanwhile, was laser-focused on falsehoods about 2020 — repeating Mr. Trump’s lie and blaming Mr. Kemp for President Biden’s election.Mr. Evans, the former ambassador who in early 2021 had tried to broker a peace deal between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kemp, campaigned for Mr. Perdue but said he saw little effort to define a distinctive platform.​​ “As far as having an existence that existed independent of Trump, I really didn’t see that materialize,” Mr. Evans said.Mr. Kemp’s lieutenant governor, Mr. Duncan, summarized the arc of the Perdue candidacy.“David Perdue made a bad bet six months ago when he jumped in the race and thought, ‘Because Donald Trump likes me, I’m going to win,’” Mr. Duncan said. “He bet wrong.”Maya King More

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    Bush Dynasty, Its Influence Fading, Pins Hopes on One Last Stand in Texas

    ARGYLE, Texas — His famous name shadows George P. Bush, the only member of the dynastic political clan now in public office, as he enters the final days of an uphill campaign to unseat Texas’ attorney general.To some Texans, the Bush family name is a badge of integrity, harking back to a bygone era of rectitude and respectful political debate. To others, it is the disqualifying mark of a Republican old guard that failed the party and betrayed its last president, Donald J. Trump.Mr. Bush would like to make the campaign about the two-term Republican incumbent, Ken Paxton, whose serious legal troubles — including an indictment on securities fraud charges and a continuing federal corruption investigation — prompted high-profile Republicans to take him on in the primary. Mr. Bush made it to a runoff with Mr. Paxton that takes place on Tuesday.A few years ago, Mr. Bush, whose mother is from Mexico and whose father was the governor of Florida, might have won the race handily, his aides believe, and then been held up as a prominent example of a new, more diverse generation of Republicans.But that was before the ground shifted and his family spoke out publicly against Mr. Trump, in an unsuccessful effort to derail his bid for the presidency.Mr. Bush broke with his father (Jeb), his uncle (George W.) and his grandfather (George H.W.) and aligned himself with Mr. Trump and his followers. The effort to distance himself from his relatives was captured in a campaign beer koozie that his campaign handed out last year, quoting Mr. Trump: “This is the Bush that got it right. I like him,” it says, beneath a line drawing of Mr. Trump shaking Mr. Bush’s hand.The effort did not pay off. Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Paxton, who had filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 election and had appeared with Mr. Trump at his rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, before members of the crowd stormed the Capitol.Mr. Bush, the Texas state land commissioner, bears a family name that evokes a pre-Trump style of Republican politics. Shelby Tauber for The New York TimesSome Texans say the political obituary has already been written for the Bush family, and see Mr. Bush, who is currently the state land commissioner, as its last flickering ember, with little of his forebears’ appeal.“Daddy Bush was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,” Carolyn Lightfoot, a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, said of Mr. Bush’s grandfather. But the organization has criticized George P. Bush’s moves as land commissioner over his handling of the Alamo in San Antonio. Ms. Lightfoot said the Bush family and the party establishment were “trying to stuff him down our throats because of his Latino heritage.”For all that the family’s importance may have faded among Texas Republicans, Mr. Bush may still emerge victorious in the runoff. A poll this month had Mr. Paxton’s support at less than 50 percent, and Mr. Bush trailing him by only a few percentage points. Donors have pumped new money into Mr. Bush’s campaign in the final stretch, hoping to push him over the top.Mr. Bush has tried to refine and target his attacks on Mr. Paxton in recent weeks, after his campaign’s internal polling suggested that earlier efforts were hurting his own standing along with Mr. Paxton’s. And Mr. Bush has proudly invoked his family, both in a closing-message political ad and while speaking to audiences that might be unimpressed with the Bush name.“It’s all about ethics,” Mr. Bush told a gathering of Republican women this month in Argyle, a town in the rapidly growing, largely Republican suburbs of Fort Worth. “When people say the last thing we need is another Bush, my response is, this is precisely the time that we need a Bush.”As he barnstorms the state, Mr. Bush, 46, is invariably asked about his relatives, told about some fond memory of them, or challenged to reiterate his loyalty to Mr. Trump.After the event in Argyle, a man in a cowboy hat waited outside for Mr. Bush to emerge so he could confront the candidate.“Would you support for president the Republican nominee, even if it is Trump in 2024?” the man asked.“Yeah, no, I would support him again,” Mr. Bush replied as he walked to his car, wearing black cowboy boots emblazoned with a White House seal and a reference to his uncle’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. “But we’ll see who comes out.”At one campaign stop after another, Mr. Bush is asked about his family or his support for Donald J. Trump.Shelby Tauber for The New York TimesAt a Republican club event in Houston, held down the road from an apartment George W. Bush used to occupy in an area George H.W. Bush used to represent in Congress, George P. Bush delivered a speech attacking Democrats and Mr. Paxton. He promised to strengthen the state’s border with Mexico and to address Houston’s rising murder rate. He opened the floor to questions, but got a comment to start.“I enjoyed watching you talk, because to me, you have all the mannerisms of Governor Bush,” a man told him, to laughter in the room. “Your hands are just like ‘Saturday Night Live.’”Another attendee also made reference to his family. “I’ve heard people say that they’re not going to vote for you because they’re tired of the Bush dynasty,” said Doug Smith, a club member, echoing the views of some in the room. “How do you respond to those people?”“I’ll never run away from being a Bush; I love my family,” he said. Most of the crowd applauded.To live in Texas is to be exposed to the ubiquity of the Bushes, whose family name is borne by airports, roads and schools from Houston to Dallas to Midland. Both Bush presidents have their presidential libraries in the state. In Houston, there are even dog parks named for the canine companions of George P. Bush’s grandmother Barbara Bush, who died in 2018.Exposed to a national spotlight from a young age, Mr. Bush has been hearing about his bright political future for decades. “The Republican convention is doubling as a dress rehearsal for a man Republicans talk about as an up-and-coming heir to the Bush legacy,” The Baltimore Sun wrote of him in 2000, referring to him as a “hunk” who could put “the passion in compassionate conservatism.”Mr. Bush, left, was seen as an up-and-comer in Republican circles in 2000. His uncle George W. Bush was governor of Texas and a candidate for president, and his father, Jeb Bush, was governor of Florida. Ozier Muhammad/The New York TimesBut that is not the message Republicans want to hear now, Texas political consultants, donors and observers said.“Everything was lining up to give him the brass ring, but the party changed too much,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor of political science at the University of Houston. “The Republican base changed in such a fast way that many were left without a chair when the music stopped. Bush is a great example of that.”Jay Zeidman, a longtime friend of Mr. Bush’s, said he believed that those shifts masked a dissatisfaction with the direction the party had taken. “There’s a lack of political courage in this state right now because of Donald Trump,” he said. “I think Americans and Texans are thirsty for some reversion back to what politics used to be.”As he campaigns, Mr. Bush, who grew up in Florida, underscores his ties to Texas: Born in Houston, college at Rice University, a law career in the state. In an interview, Mr. Bush said he understood the legacy of his family as something Texan, as well as “quintessentially American and patriotic.”“My role is to close the wounds of the past,” Mr. Bush said. “What I focus on are areas that I can control, and not focus on the areas that I can’t control. Because that would be futile.”Mr. Bush has staked out hard-line positions that appeal to Republican primary voters on issues like the teaching of race and gender in schools. On immigration, he has urged Texas to formally invoke passages in the U.S. Constitution referring to “invasion,” a step toward the state seizing war powers and a move that Mr. Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott have so far avoided making. He has said there was “fraud and irregularity” in the 2020 election, though he did not believe it changed the outcome.Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, faces Mr. Bush in a primary runoff on Tuesday.Cooper Neill for The New York TimesHe has challenged Mr. Paxton to debate him on issues, but the two have not shared a stage during the campaign. Mr. Bush contrasts his willingness to field questions from reporters and from a variety of audiences with Mr. Paxton’s practice of rarely holding news conferences or taking challenging questions.Mr. Paxton’s campaign declined a request for an interview.“Texas voters have made it clear that they are sick and tired of the Bush family dynasty and their RINO establishment donors playing kingmaker in Texas politics,” said Kimi Hubbard, a Paxton campaign spokeswoman, using an acronym meaning “Republican in name only.”Mr. Bush was careful in an interview with The New York Times not to question the shifts in the Republican Party that have made his run for office more difficult. He said the concerns of party voters were largely the same as when he first ran for land commissioner in the 2014 election: “Concerns on my family, concerns on crime, border security.”Have voters’ feelings about the Bush dynasty hurt him? “I wouldn’t say so,” he said. “I’ve won.”A significant number of Republicans polled in Texas say they would not support Mr. Bush because of his family background. But his lineage is not simply a liability.In this month’s poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, people planning to vote in the primary runoff for attorney general were asked what they liked about their chosen candidate. One of the top factors Mr. Paxton’s supporters mentioned was that he was not a Bush. But about the same share of Mr. Bush’s backers said they were drawn to him specifically because he was a Bush.Mr. Bush has drawn financial support from his family’s network, including six-figure checks from some longtime Bush supporters and more than $100,000 directly from his uncle George W. Bush, campaign finance records show.Mr. Bush fielded questions at a Republican gathering in Flower Mound.Shelby Tauber for The New York TimesA week before the runoff, outside an early voting location in his grandfather’s old congressional district in Houston, Mr. Bush’s family name loomed large for Republican voters, both for and against.“We support George P.,” said Julie Treadwell, 50, who had just voted with her 18-year-old daughter. “We want to get back to that,” she said of his family and what they represented to her: “Conservative Republicans that are more even-keel and levelheaded.”Darla Ryden, 59, who overheard Ms. Treadwell’s remarks, waited until she had walked away to her car before describing her own views, which she said were just the opposite.“I was all for George Bush, daddy and son, but now I feel, with the Bushes, it’s more about power than it is about people,” Ms. Ryden said. She voted for Mr. Paxton in the runoff and supported him in the first round of the primary as well, she said, despite “his own struggles.”“The Bushes?” she added. “It’s done.” More

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    Hochul’s Lt. Governor Pick Says He Is Afro-Latino. Some Latinos Object.

    The three major Democrats running to become New York’s second-in-command have Latino roots, but Antonio Delgado’s claim to the heritage is being challenged.In New York’s Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, one goal had unified two outsider candidates, Diana Reyna and Ana Maria Archila: vying to be the first Latino elected to statewide office.Achieving that objective has now gotten more complicated.This month, Gov. Kathy Hochul named Representative Antonio Delgado as her new lieutenant governor and running mate, replacing Brian Benjamin, who resigned in April after being indicted on federal bribery charges.In announcing the choice, Ms. Hochul heralded Mr. Delgado’s Afro-Latino ethnicity, and noted his membership in both the Black and Hispanic congressional caucuses.Prominent Latino Democrats, who lobbied Ms. Hochul on the decision and have long pushed for greater representation in state government, were quick to celebrate an appointment that, once it becomes official, will make Mr. Delgado the first Latino to hold statewide office in New York.But as the congratulatory statements began to circulate, so did questions about Mr. Delgado’s background, putting a spotlight on issues of ethnicity, self-identity and representation in advance of the June 28 primary.Asked about his Afro-Latino heritage at the news conference where he was introduced as Ms. Hochul’s choice for lieutenant governor, Mr. Delgado gave a winding answer. He said people had surmised that he was Afro-Latino because of his name, or perhaps because he briefly lived in Puerto Rico, where he played semipro basketball. He then seemed to suggest that his Latino heritage stemmed from his family’s ties to Cape Verde, a small island nation off the west coast of Africa that was once a Portuguese colony.The answer mystified some of his supporters, and created an opening for his opponents to scrutinize his claims of being Latino.Luis A. Miranda Jr., a founding partner of the MirRam Group, a political consulting firm, posted celebratory comments on Twitter about Mr. Delgado’s appointment when it was announced. But after hearing his remarks at the news conference, Mr. Miranda said he was “puzzled by his explanation on ethnicity.”Mr. Delgado, in an interview with The New York Times, described the complexity of how he views his ethnicity. He said his mother grew up at a time when she felt safe identifying only as Black or white, but eventually embraced the Mexican, Colombian and Venezuelan ancestry of her father, whom she did not know.“She became someone who identifies as a proud Black woman with Latino roots,” Mr. Delgado said in the interview. “And as I’ve tried to orient myself and my sense of identity through her, that is the entry point.”Asked how he identified himself, Mr. Delgado said: “I am a Black American man with Cape Verdean roots and Latino roots. When it pertains to my Latino roots, that comes from my mom’s side, whose own story around her identity is multifaceted and complex.”When Ms. Hochul picked Mr. Benjamin for the job, her choice was influenced by a desire to have her running mate be a person of color from the New York City area as a way to help broaden her appeal beyond her base as a white politician from western New York.Mr. Delgado offered many of the same qualities, giving the governor a running mate with name recognition and the potential to appeal to downstate Black and Latino voters as she seeks a full term this year.Ms. Archila, who has been endorsed by Representative Nydia M. Velázquez, the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the House, and Ms. Reyna said they understood why Ms. Hochul would want a Latino running mate. Latinos are the second-largest ethnic group in the state and make up 19 percent of the population. But the two women questioned Mr. Delgado’s rationale for describing himself as Latino and cast Ms. Hochul’s decision as a political ploy.“Gov. Hochul is being extremely opportunistic and simplistic,” said Ms. Archila, whose running mate is Jumaane Williams, New York City’s public advocate. “I think he should say more than, I have an ancestor who once was born in Colombia.”In selecting Mr. Delgado, Gov. Kathy Hochul, right, chose a running mate of color who may appeal to downstate voters who are not part of her natural base.Cindy Schultz for The New York TimesMs. Reyna, whose running mate is Representative Thomas R. Suozzi, said at a recent campaign event that a “last name does not make you Latino.” The first statewide Latino official should be “authentic,” have “lived experience” and a record of helping Latino communities, she told Encuentro New York, a Latino advocacy group.“She tells us that her lieutenant governor is a member of the Latino community,” Ms. Reyna said of the governor. “This is not about identity politics. This is about being truthful.”Ms. Hochul and her campaign have said little about the questions surrounding Mr. Delgado’s ethnicity. They referred to him as Afro-Latino in the third line of a news release announcing his appointment; an email sent out the next day about a fund-raiser did not mention his ethnicity.“He identifies as Afro-Latino,” Jerrel Harvey, a spokesman for Ms. Hochul’s campaign, said.The focus on Mr. Delgado’s ethnicity adds a new wrinkle to the primary for lieutenant governor, which was upended after the resignation of Mr. Benjamin, the presumptive favorite. For weeks, it appeared that he would remain on the primary ballot despite the criminal charges, but state lawmakers ultimately passed a bill allowing him to remove himself.It was then that Ms. Hochul chose Mr. Delgado to succeed Mr. Benjamin.Camille Rivera, a Democratic political strategist who identifies as Afro-Latina, said Ms. Hochul had missed an opportunity to energize an important voting bloc that could help decide the general election. Among the issues Latino leaders say they want state government to address are affordable housing, child care and inequalities in health care.“You have no statewide Latino representation, right?” Ms. Rivera said. “Here was an opportunity to actually lift up Latinos in a real way.”There has been little scrutiny of Mr. Delgado’s Latino heritage. Several news articles over the years have identified him incorrectly as Puerto Rican. Some articles from 2018, when he defeated John J. Faso, the Republican incumbent, to claim the House seat representing the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions, referred to him as Black.Asked whether he had ever corrected the record about being Puerto Rican before the news conference where he was introduced as lieutenant governor, Mr. Delgado said in a statement that he was “raised as a blend of heritages,” including “Latino roots.”“That’s the background I grew up with and how I identify,” he said in the statement. “My mom’s maiden name is Gomez and she grew up identifying as having Latina roots.”Racism and colorism may also play a role in how Mr. Delgado’s description of being Afro-Latino is being received, said Representative Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, who identifies as Afro-Latino.“I find it curious that those of us with Black skin often have our Latino identity questioned,” said Mr. Torres, who supports Mr. Delgado. “As an Afro-Latino, I have been told repeatedly that I do not look Latino, whatever that means, and therefore, I must be less authentically Latino than those with lighter skin.”Zaire Z. Dinzey-Flores, an associate professor of Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, said she understood why some Latinos were upset about the appointment. Being Afro-Latino in the United States, she said, involves a complicated mix of race, language and culture.“Experience informs what you see, how you perceive things, how you bring in issues that might go unseen or unrecognized,” Professor Dinzey-Flores said. Choosing someone from an Afro-Latino background so that constituency is represented in government, she added, should be about “authentically” capturing that experience and not “checking a box.”Melissa Mark-Viverito, a former New York City Council speaker who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, concurred, saying that Mr. Delgado’s claim of Latino heritage “raises the question and the concern of people loosely taking on certain identities and not being completely honest.”“That concerns me because as someone who fully embraces the importance of representation, we have two qualified Latinas running and a chance to make history,” Ms. Mark-Viverito said, referring to Ms. Reyna and Ms. Archila. “Yet it feels like we are being duped. It’s all very messy.”Days after Ms. Hochul named him as Mr. Benjamin’s successor, Mr. Delgado gave a 15-minute speech at the Harlem headquarters of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Mr. Sharpton said he was surprised that Mr. Delgado did not address the confusion about his Afro-Latino identity.“I think it’s something he can’t ignore,” Mr. Sharpton said in an interview after Mr. Delgado spoke that day.Instead, Mr. Delgado reminisced about growing up in a Black Baptist church and drew hearty amens and nods of approval from the mostly Black crowd. He talked about why he pursued a career as a rapper after graduating from Harvard Law School, an issue opponents tried to use against him when he first ran for Congress.“I know the power of the culture,” Mr. Delgado said. “I am the culture.” More

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    Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux Battle Over A Georgia District

    A primary for the new Seventh District, outside Atlanta, is forcing two popular incumbents, Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux, to do battle.In 2018, a Democratic gun control and racial justice activist named Lucy McBath flipped a Republican-held Georgia congressional seat that, in a different configuration, had once been held by Newt Gingrich.In 2020, a college professor named Carolyn Bourdeaux prevailed in another suburban Atlanta district a little farther east, becoming the only Democratic House candidate to flip a seat in the general election that year.And now, Ms. McBath and Ms. Bourdeaux — two female lawmakers who have similar voting records and reflect the ascendant Democratic coalition in Georgia — are on a collision course, battling to represent the state’s newly redrawn Seventh District in a House member-versus-member primary election on Tuesday.“It’s a shame that we had to choose between them,” said Andrew Young, a former congressman, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta. “But that is the kind of trickery that went into reapportionment.”Mr. Young has endorsed Ms. Bourdeaux, though he said his wife was rooting for Ms. McBath.Under the once-in-a-decade redistricting process, Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, signed into law a new map that transformed Ms. McBath’s district to favor Republicans overwhelmingly. Ms. Bourdeaux’s nearby district, the Seventh, became strongly Democratic, and Ms. McBath chose to run there.Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux,left, with a supporter at an event marking the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings.Nicole Craine for The New York TimesThe result is a matchup that has left party leaders in the district anguished — one of several bruising House primaries around the country pitting incumbents against one another in newly drawn districts.After the Pennsylvania and North Carolina PrimariesMay 17 was the biggest day so far in the 2022 midterm cycle.The Stakes: G.O.P. voters are showing a willingness to nominate candidates who parrot Donald J. Trump’s 2020 lies, making clear that this year’s races may affect the fate of free and fair elections in the country.Trump’s Limits: The MAGA movement is dominating Republican primaries, but Mr. Trump’s control over it may be slipping.Trump Endorsements: Most of the candidates backed by the former president have prevailed. However, there are some noteworthy losses.Up Next: Closely watched races in Georgia and Alabama on May 24 will offer a clearer picture of Mr. Trump’s influence.More Takeaways: ​​Democratic voters are pushing for change over consensus, nominating a left-leaning political brawler for Senate in Pennsylvania. Here’s what else we’ve learned.In Georgia, many Democrats fault Republican machinations around the reapportionment process for, in their view, effectively squeezing out an incumbent House Democrat.At a virtual rally Thursday night, Ms. McBath implicitly cast her decision to run in the Seventh District as a rebuke to the Republicans, declaring that she “refused to let the Republicans silence me.”State Representative Donna McLeod, who is campaigning energetically but lags in fund-raising, is also running in the contest, which could head to a runoff.The intraparty battle comes roughly a year and a half after Georgia, a longtime Republican bastion, not only helped deliver the presidency to the Democrats, but also elected two Democratic senators, cementing the party’s Senate majority. Those victories were propelled by a broad constellation of constituencies, including a surge in turnout by Black Georgians and a thorough rejection of Donald J. Trump in the state’s diverse suburbs.Ms. McBath is a Black woman from the suburbs of Atlanta who has been embraced by several liberal organizations and some progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, but she is not typically seen as a left-wing candidate. Ms. Bourdeaux, a white moderate, was also skilled at appealing to those in historically center-right territory. Both represent, in many ways, parts of the sprawling Biden coalition that Democrats are straining to hold together headed into a challenging midterm election season.Ms. Bourdeaux is regarded as the more centrist candidate in the race. She joined other House moderates, for instance, in saying she would not support a budget resolution meant to pave the way for President Biden’s sweeping social policy package until a bipartisan infrastructure measure became law, a stance that outraged many Democrats who had planned to pair the priorities.But in contrast to Democratic primaries elsewhere, the primary contest in Georgia’s Seventh District has not been a searing ideological fight over the direction of the party, or a race dominated by negative advertising. Both women emphasize issues like protecting abortion rights and voting rights, and they received a joint endorsement from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.Yet there are clear stylistic and strategic differences as they vie to represent a racially and ethnically diverse district.Ms. McBath, widely regarded as the front-runner, is running on her personal story, recently earning national attention from prominent Democrats, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for her starkly emotional testimony about her struggles with pregnancy as she advocated for abortion rights.Linking to a video clip of Ms. McBath, Mrs. Clinton wrote on Twitter: “Please listen to @RepLucyMcBath as she speaks for so many women who have had miscarriages and stillbirths — tragic losses the right wing seeks to criminalize.”Understand the 2022 Midterm ElectionsCard 1 of 6Why are these midterms so important? More

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    Judge Approves N.Y. House Map, Cementing Chaos for Democrats

    The new district lines, approved late Friday night, will create pickup opportunities for Republicans and force Democratic incumbents to run against each other.A state court formally approved New York’s new congressional map late Friday, ratifying a slate of House districts drawn by a neutral expert that could pave the way for Democratic losses this fall and force some of the party’s most prominent incumbents to face off in primary matches.The map, approved just before a midnight deadline set by Justice Patrick F. McAllister of State Supreme Court in Steuben County, effectively unwinds an attempted Democratic gerrymander, creates a raft of new swing seats across the state, and scrambles some carefully laid lines that have long determined centers of power in New York City.Jonathan R. Cervas, the court-appointed mapmaker, made relatively minor changes to a draft proposal released earlier this week whose sweeping changes briefly united both Republicans and Democrats in exasperation and turned Democrats against each other.In Manhattan, the final map would still merge the seats of Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, setting the two Democratic committee leaders, who have served alongside each other for 30 years, onto an increasingly inevitable collision course.Another awkward Democratic primary loomed up the Hudson in Westchester County, where two Black Democratic House members were drawn into a single district. But the worst outcome for Democrats appeared to be averted early Saturday morning when one of the incumbents, Representative Mondaire Jones, said he would forego re-election in his Westchester seat. He said he would run instead in a newly reconfigured 10th Congressional District in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, a race that has already drawn the candidacy of Bill de Blasio, the former New York City mayor, but which no other sitting House member is expected to enter.Republicans were already eying pickup opportunities in the suburbs of Long Island and in the 18th and 19th Districts in the Hudson Valley that could help them retake control of the House. Representative Mondaire Jones said he would run in a newly reconfigured 10th Congressional District.T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York TimesAnd in New York City’s only Republican-held district, Representative Nicole Malliotakis breathed a sigh of relief that Mr. Cervas had reversed one of the boldest moves by the Democratic leaders in the State Legislature, when they inserted liberal Park Slope, Brooklyn, into her Staten Island-based district.Some of the most notable changes between the initial and final district lines came in historically Black communities in Brooklyn, where Mr. Cervas reunited Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights into single districts. He had faced uproar from Black lawmakers and civil rights groups after his first proposal divided them into separate seats.What to Know About RedistrictingRedistricting, Explained: Here are some answers to your most pressing questions about the process that is reshaping American politics.Understand Gerrymandering: Can you gerrymander your party to power? Try to draw your own districts in this imaginary state.Killing Competition: The number of competitive districts is dropping, as both parties use redistricting to draw themselves into safe seats.Deepening Divides: As political mapmakers create lopsided new district lines, the already polarized parties are being pulled even farther apart.Responding to feedback from community groups, Mr. Cervas also revised the map to reunite Manhattan’s Chinatown with Sunset Park in Brooklyn, another heavily Asian American community, in the 10th Congressional District. In each case, he said the communities had been “inadvertently split” in his first proposal.Justice McAllister’s order approving the congressional and additional State Senate maps on Friday makes New York one of the final states in the nation to complete its decennial redistricting process. But both parties were already girding late Friday for the potential for civil rights or political groups to file new, long-shot lawsuits challenging the maps in state or federal court.Justice McAllister used the unusual five-page order to rebut criticisms leveled at Mr. Cervas and the court in recent days, as the maps were hastily drafted out of public view. He conceded that the rushed time frame was “less than ideal” but defended the final maps as “almost perfectly neutral” with 15 safe Democratic seats, three safe Republican seats and eight swing seats.“Unfortunately some people have encouraged the public to believe that now the court gets to create its own gerrymandered maps that favor Republicans,” wrote Justice McAllister, a Republican. “Such could not be further from the truth. The court is not politically biased.”The final map was a stark disappointment for Democrats, who control every lever of power in New York and had entered this year’s decennial redistricting cycle with every expectation of gaining seats that could help hold their House majority. They appeared to be successful in February, when the Legislature adopted a congressional map that would have made their candidates favorites in 22 of 26 districts, an improvement from the 19 Democrats currently hold.The new map reverses one of the boldest moves by Democratic leaders: inserting Park Slope, Brooklyn, into Representative Nicole Malliotakis’s Staten Island-based district.Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesBut Republicans sued in state court, and Justice McAllister, a judge in the state’s rural Southern Tier, ruled that the maps violated a 2014 state constitutional amendment outlawing partisan gerrymandering and reforming the mapmaking process in New York. In late April, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, upheld the decision and ordered a court-appointed special master to redraw the lines.Justice McAllister appointed Mr. Cervas, a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon with few ties to New York and scant experience drawing state lines, and delayed the congressional and State Senate elections until Aug. 23.On Friday, Mr. Cervas produced a 26-page report explaining the rationale of his map, in which he tried to balance the need to protect communities of shared interest, existing districts, and other constitutional requirements.Mr. Cervas eliminated one district overall, carving it out of central New York to shrink the state’s congressional delegation to 26. The change was required after New York failed to keep pace with national population growth in the 2020 census.How U.S. Redistricting WorksCard 1 of 8What is redistricting? More

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    Why Australians Must Vote on Election Day

    After Australia’s 2016 federal election, a parliamentary committee urged the country’s election commission to investigate the worryingly low voter turnout, saying the trend may signal trouble for the health of its democracy.The turnout in question: 91 percent.In the U.S. presidential election that same year, barely 60 percent of eligible Americans cast a ballot.Australia is one of a couple of dozen countries, including Belgium, Brazil and Peru, whose citizens are legally required to vote. Those who fail to do so are subject to a fine of 20 Australian dollars — about $14 — which can balloon with repeat offenses or if the fine goes unpaid.Voters may have their fines waived if they have a “valid and sufficient” reason for not turning up to vote.Australia’s election commission says compulsory voting is a “cornerstone” of its democratic system because it incentivizes candidates to cater to everyone in the electorate, not only to those more engaged. Some in the United States have cited it admiringly, including Barack Obama, who noted in a 2015 speech that those who are less likely to vote are disproportionately young, lower income, immigrants or minorities.“It would be transformative if everybody voted,” he said. “That would counteract money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”Surveys in Australia also indicate that without the mandate, voter turnout would be uneven. Less than half of those younger than 35 say they would definitely vote without the requirement, whereas 71 percent of those 55 and above say they’d still go to the polls, according to the Electoral Integrity Project.The law, which has been in place since 1924, enjoys broad support, but isn’t without its detractors.Some who are dissatisfied with the choices they’re given cast what’s known as a donkey vote, where they rank preferences for candidates on the ballot in the order in which they happen to be listed. (The “reverse donkey” is another protest vote, ranked from bottom up.)One politician in East Gippsland Shire, in southeastern Australia, Ben Buckley, said in local media reports that he had refused to vote since 1996 — including in races in which he was a candidate — because he believed that it was an illegal coercion by the government.“If you’ve got a right to vote, you should have a right not to vote,” Mr. Buckley, a bush pilot, told a Melbourne newspaper in 2015, saying he had lost count of how many times he’d been hauled before a court for failing to vote. More

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    Australian Democracy Comes With a Side of Grilled Onions

    Grill sausages and onions until they are nicely browned. Take a slice of white bread, place sausage diagonally and top with onions. Fold. Garnish to taste.Now if only the business of democracy were that simple.Every Election Day in Australia, the smoky aroma of sizzling sausages permeates the air near polling stations, as barbecue stands serve up a beloved tradition that acts as a fund-raiser for local schools, churches or community groups.“Democracy sausages,” as they’ve come to be known, make the compulsory trip to the voting booth feel like less of a chore and more like a block party.Election Day barbecues have been around for longer than most can remember, but “democracy sausages” as a phrase first emerged in 2012, and took off during the federal election in 2016, according to the Australian National Dictionary Center.The center says the term’s popularity that year was boosted in part by an infamous faux pas — when the opposition leader, Bill Shorten of the Labor Party, bit into one from the side, like he was eating corn on the cob. (“Sausage gaffe a snag for Labor,” The Guardian wrote. “Voters across Australia were largely astounded,” The Sydney Morning Herald observed.)“That was definitely wrong,” said Annette Tyler, a co-creator of the site democracysausage.org, which has been mapping sausage availability at thousands of polling places since 2012. “We’re very inclusive, however you like your sausage, with onions or without onions, but eating a sausage like that, from the middle of the bun, is one of the strangest things I’ve seen.”Lest there’s any confusion, the right way is to bite into either end, Ms. Tyler said.“It’s not a complex art,” she added. “You’re not having dinner with the queen.”Ms. Tyler, 38, said she enjoyed the spirit of community engagement the barbecue brought out. During one by-election in her home state of Western Australia, she and other volunteers behind the website sampled five sausages in four hours, she recalled.As the electorate has diversified, so have the offerings, with more stands providing vegetarian or halal options, even fancy ones commanding prices of up to 8 Australian dollars. (Inflation stands to be a key issue on voters’ minds this election.) More