How the 2014 elections are set for a number of firsts

Midterms are turning out to be pretty interesting

The 2014 midterm elections are right around the corner, and perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of this cycle is that it has the potential to be the first on many fronts from the first time an African-American wins a Senate seat in the South via popular election all the way to the first transgender congresswoman.

Ballotpedia, a non-partisan online encyclopedia about American politics and elections, has put together an extensive chronicle on how this election is unlike many others before it. The following is what they pieced together.

On the Gender front:

Ninety-four years after women were granted the right to vote, several are hoping to become the first females to hold various government offices. Three women Martha Coakley (D), Mary Burke (D) and Susan Wismer (D) are seeking to become the first female governors of their states Massachusetts, Wisconsin and South Dakota, respectively. Republican Joni Ernst or Democrat Staci Appel could become the first woman elected to either chamber of Congress from Iowa. Meanwhile, the race to fill Jay Rockefellers U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia will almost certainly result in voters sending a woman to the Senate for the first time in the states history. Though seven candidates are running, including those of several minor parties, the real battle is between Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, from West Virginias 2nd Congressional District, and Democratic West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

Race and Religion:

Tim Scott (R) was appointed to the United States Senate to succeed South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (R) in January 2013. If elected to this position in November, Scott will become the first African-American to win a Senate seat via popular election in the South. He already holds the distinction of being the first black member of the Senate from the South since Reconstruction. If Scott wins his race and New Jerseys Cory Booker (D) is successful in his re-election bid, it will mark the first time in history that two African-Americans are simultaneously serving in the Senate as the result of popular election. Both men are favored to win their races by sizable margins.


In Utah, Mia Love (R) is hoping to represent the states 4th District on Capitol Hill. If her bid is successful, she will become the first black female Republican elected to Congress. This would mark a first not just for the state, but also for the country, as a black female has never been elected to either chamber on the Republican ticket.


Siddique Malik (D) is running to represent District 36 in the Kentucky State Senate. He will become the first Muslim to serve in the state legislature if he wins his race. Malik, who emigrated from Pakistan over 40 years ago, said, Donald Trump is not going to come here and ask me for my birth certificate, because it’s in a language that he probably does not know… this will be an election campaign based on issues, and that’s the way Democracy works, and that’s the way it’s gonna work in [District] 36.

Sexual Preference and Identity:

The Republican Party could welcome its first openly gay congressman this fall if one or both men win their respective races. In Massachusetts, Richard Tisei (R) is seeking to represent the states 6th Congressional District. Across the country, Californian Carl DeMaio (R) is hoping to win the 52nd District in what has been identified as a battleground race.


At the state level, Mike Michaud (D) could become the first openly gay Governor of Maine if he unseats incumbent Paul LePage (R). Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey came out upon his resignation in 2004; however, there has yet to be an openly gay sitting governor.


Two transgender women are also hoping to make history. Paula Overby (I) is the first transgender person ever to run for Congress in Minnesota and would, therefore, become the first transgender congresswoman from the state. Also, Lauren Scott (R) is seeking to become the nations first transgender state legislator by representing Nevadas 30th District.


Additionally, in California, the first openly lesbian judge to serve on the California Courts of Appeal, Therese M. Stewart, is running for retention.


It’s safe to say this election is much, much different than many in the past.

For more firsts, head over to Ballotpedia.

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