Midterm contests to watch
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.
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.