This year’s midterm election is producing some of the most diverse candidates ever. More women are running in this election than in history, and joining them are LGBT candidates and candidates in racial minorities. Here are six gubernatorial candidates that could make history if elected on Tuesday.
First Native American Governor
Paulette Jordan is running to become the first Native American governor in U.S. history. Jordan embraces her native roots and is running a progressive campaign in Idaho, a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the highest state office since 1990.
“Native issues are Idaho’s issues,” Jordan tweeted in March, “and Native values are Idahoan values.”
First African-American Woman Governor
Backed by Oprah Winfrey and former President Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams is hoping the hype surrounding her campaign will launch her into Georgia’s highest state office. Georgia hasn’t elected a Democrat in 20 years, but Abrams is neck and neck in the polls with her opponent, Brian Kemp, who has been accused of suppressing votes from African-American voters in the state.
First Openly Gay Governor
Colorado is likely to elect the United States’ first openly gay governor in history. Democrat Jared Polis has a slight advantage in the polls, and FiveThirtyEight is listing the race as likely Democrat.
Polis is out and proud, and he told voters his win will prove something to an administration that has rolled back protections for LGBT Americans.
“I think it really gives Colorado an opportunity to stick a thumb in the eye of Mike Pence, whose view of America is not as inclusive as where America is today,” Polis said in a recent speech, according to Vox.
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) October 11, 2017
First Transgender Governor
Continuing in this year’s “rainbow wave” of an influx of LGBT candidates, Christine Hallquist of Vermont is representing the last letter, and if elected, she will be the first openly transgender governor in history.
Today, I am celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility and standing in solidarity with all of my transgender brothers and sisters. pic.twitter.com/dYHzQL8rxK
— Christine Hallquist (@christineforvt) March 31, 2018
First Women Governors in Four States
In addition to the firsts being made nationwide, firsts are happening in states as well. Four states are poised to elect their first woman governor ever. Jordan and Abrams would be the first women governors in their states, and possibly joining them are Democrat Janet Mills of Maine and Republican Kristi Noem of South Dakota.
They would make strides this election, but according to the New York Times, there are still 23 states that have never elected a woman governor.