his presidential election season has been many things—horrifying, excruciating, insulting, depressing. But it’s also historic. Whoever wins, it will be a first. Either we’ll have the first woman president in the history of the United States, or we’ll have our first-ever orange president.
But we’re not just electing a president this year. All over the country, in every state and county, at every level of government, there are races where potential history is capable of being made—where voters could elect the first-ever women, queer people, or people of color in a variety of offices. And there’s plenty of history that needs to be made. For instance, 10 states have never elected a single person of color to a statewide office.
Below, you’ll meet some of the people who, if they win on Tuesday, would be trailblazers in their field. Even if they don’t turn out to be great politicians, they’ll all land a spot in the record books.
🇺🇸 Senate 🇺🇸
First openly gay man elected to the U.S. Senate
Gray, the mayor of Lexington, is taking on Rand Paul as the Democratic candidate in a challenging Kentucky Senate race. He would serve with Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay person of any gender to win a Senate seat. In their only debate, Gray accused Paul of having “wild-ass philosophies and theories.”
First Latina elected to the U.S. Senate
Despite the efforts of many conservatives in her home state of Nevada to question her Latina heritage, Democrat Cortez Masto stands to become the first Latina elected to the Senate should she win her race against Rep. Joe Heck. The campaign, whose outcome could decide which party wins a majority in the chamber, has been one of the most closely watched Senate contests in the country.
In addition to fighting for immigrant rights, Cortez Masto has also vowed to press for campaign finance reform after the Koch brothers poured $6 million into the race in hopes of defeating her bid.
First transgender woman elected to the U.S. Senate
Though she was also working a day job as a cashier at a grocery store outside of Salt Lake City, Misty K. Snow managed to trounce her Democratic opponent in Utah’s Democratic Senate primary earlier this year. In doing so, Snow became the first transgender Senate nominee for either of the country’s two main political parties. Snow now faces tough competition in her majority red state where she’s facing off against Republican incumbent Sen. Mike Lee.
First biracial woman elected to the U.S. Senate