It’s no secret that a “blue wave” is set to hit the U.S. Senate and Congress come November 2018 – if the fervent activism we’ve been seeing in the US stays strong. However, the wave is looking more rainbow and brown as well, not just blue. Many elections – both state and federal – are making history. Two inspiring examples come from Massachusetts and Georgia.
For example, the Georgia made history by nominating the first woman of color from a major party in a gubernatorial race, according to the New York Times. The democratic race consisted of two former state house women leaders: Stacey Abrams (D) and and Stacey Evans (D). This is a great first step to seeing if a woman of color can get elected in the deep south. She will either face off against the right-wing Brian Kemp (R), who claims to be “so conservative that he will blow up government spending”, or the sitting Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle (R).
Georgia has been historically red, but this is a sign of the changing political tide in the state. Analysts have been predicting that the state may shift to vote more purple, according to the New York Times. If Stacey Abrams wins, it’ll hopefully be an indication of the change. Either way, this historic nomination is a win for women, especially women of color.
Another historic candidate making makes in a state election. Alexandra Chandler has made Massachusetts history by becoming the first openly transgender congressional candidate to get on the ballot, according to Your Dracut Today. She’s running to fill a well-respected, progressive congresswoman Niki Tsongas. This situation is very different from the Georgia, because Massachusetts is historically blue. The question here is, are they willing to vote even more progressive?
Chandler is joined by her wife, Catherine as well as Holly Ryan, a pioneer in the civil rights movement for LGBTQ+ people in Massachusetts. Chandler is a shining example of the type of progressive candidate that’s needed and the type of representation needed in government for the LGBTQIA+ community in government, but she may be a hard pill to swallow for some voters in her constituency. Having grown up there, I know that these northern Massachusetts towns border souther New Hampshire, and that influence is definitely there. I’d say that this is a conservative pocket of the state.
Hope is not dead, however. There is a lot of good, young energy that is rallying around these progressive candidates. There’s a few universities in the area that provide volunteers. Nevertheless, the blue wave will resist.