Midterm con­tests to watch

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WORLD -

TEXAS

Texas is host­ing the most closely watched - and most ex­pen­sive - Se­nate race this year. Beto O’Rourke, a punk rocker-turned-con­gress­man who es­pouses health care for all, crim­i­nal jus­tice re­form and stronger gun-safety laws is tak­ing on pop­u­lar con­ser­va­tive Se­na­tor Ted Cruz. Flip­ping deep red Texas has been a Demo­cratic dream for years. They will need subur­ban anti-Trump anger to help them pull off such a seis­mic po­lit­i­cal earth­quake. In sev­eral races there are can­di­dates vy­ing to be­come the first Mus­lim woman in Congress, 12 years af­ter Min­nesota’s Keith El­li­son be­came the first Mus­lim in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

CHRIS­TINE HAL­LQUIST

The elec­tion is also shap­ing up to be a big year for LGBTQI+ can­di­dates. Chris­tine Hal­lquist, the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee for gov­er­nor of Ver­mont, could be­come the first ever trans­gen­der gov­er­nor of a US state. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez made head­lines ear­lier this year when she top­pled Demo­cratic Party grandee Joe Crow­ley in a pri­mary vote. Should she win in the midterms in NY 14th dis­trict, the 29-year-old self-pro­claimed “demo­cratic so­cial­ist” would be the youngest woman ever elected to the House. ALEXAN­DRIA OCA­SIO-CORTEZ MUS­LIM CAN­DI­DATES

FLORIDA, GE­OR­GIA AND MARY­LAND

Three states, Florida, Ge­or­gia and Mary­land, could also see their first black gov­er­nor. The US cur­rently has no black gov­er­nors and has only ever elected two through­out its en­tire his­tory.

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