The 2018 midterm elections are just a couple of days away, and Black candidates are a big part of the blue wave that Democrats hope will push the Republicans out of office in Congress and state governments.
SEE ALSO: Blue Party: Say Hello To The Black Wave
Here are several key congressional and statewide races to watch that feature African-American candidates:
Abrams will become the first Black woman governor in the nation if elected. In 2010, Abrams made history as the first Africa-American Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Denise Darcel Adams has served as councilmember for the North Ward of Winston-Salem since 2009, and she’s currently serving as vice chair of the Finance Committee and the Community Development/Housing/General Government Committee.
Colin Allred: U.S. Congress Texas 32nd District
Allred is a civil rights attorney. He worked previously as a special assistant in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel.
Barnes is a Milwaukee native born in the city’s poorest and the nation’s most incarcerated zip code. At age 25, he was elected to the State Assembly. He will become Wisconsin’s first African-American lieutenant governor if elected.
Adrienne Bell: U.S. Congress Texas 14th District
Bell is a second-grade teacher. She is an advocate for early childhood education and vows to fight for quality education and healthcare for all while in Congress.
Brandon P. Brown: U.S. Congress South Carolina 4th District
Brown served as a state deputy director for then Sen. Joe Biden‘s 2008 presidential campaign. He previously made history in 2004 as the first African-American nominated from a major party to run for Congress for the 4th District, which was an unsuccessful bid.
Linda Coleman: U.S. Congress North Carolina 2nd District
Coleman’s elected offices include Wake County North Carolina Commissioner and three terms in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Deidre DeJear: Secretary of State, Iowa
DeJear, a small business owner, is the first African-American candidate nominated by a major political party to run for a statewide office in Iowa.
This former rapper earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England and went to Harvard Law School. If elected, he will become the first African-American to represent New York’s 19th Congressional District.
This deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee has served in Congress for the last twelve years. He stepped down from the House for the chance to become Minnesota’s first Black attorney general. He was the first Muslim elected to Congress.
Aaron Ford: Nevada Attorney General
Ford has served in the Nevada Senate where his colleges elected him Minority Leader for the 2015 legislative session.
The Tallahassee mayor won an amazing come-from-behind victory to win the Democratic nomination. He’s on the path to becoming the state’s first African-American governor.
Hayes earned the prestigious National Teacher of the Year award in 2016. If elected to Congress, she’ll be the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress.
Yvonne Hayes Hinson: U.S. Congress Florida 3rd District
Special needs teacher Yvonne Hayes Hinson specialized in educating children with neurological and behavioral challenges. After retiring from Miami-Dade Public Schools, she launched her own education company.
Steven Horsford: U.S. Congress Nevada 4th District
Horsford is a seasoned politician who was elected to Congress in 2012 and served as a Nevada state senator from 2004 to 2012. He was the first African-American Senate majority leader in Nevada.
James will become the first Black woman to hold statewide office in New York if elected. As the city’s current public advocate, she was the African-American woman to win citywide office in New York.
At age 35, Jealous was named the youngest ever national president and CEO of the national NAACP. He will become Maryland’s first Black governor if elected.
Francys Johnson: U.S. Congress Georgia 12th District
Johnson is a criminal and civil law attorney, as well as a former president of the Georgia NAACP.
Lucia “Lucy” McBath is the mother of Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed in 2012 by a white man at a Florida gas station. She’s been a leading voice against the state’s infamous stand-your-ground law.
Joe Neguse: U.S. Congress Colorado 2nd District
Neguse is an attorney and civic leader. His parents fled the war-torn African country of Eritrea and immigrated to the United States as refugees.
Born in Somalia, Omar and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was 8 years old. In 2016, she became the first Somali-American Muslim legislator in the United States.
Pressley made history in 2009 as the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council. She’s poised to become the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts
Sean Shaw: Florida Attorney General
Shaw is a first-term member of the Florida House from Tampa. The consumer insurance lawyer will become Florida’s first Black attorney general if elected. His father, Leander Shaw, was the state’s first African-Amerian chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
Stephany Rose Spaulding: U.S. Congress Colorado 5th District
The Rev. Dr. Spaulding is a newcomer to politics. She serves as a professor of women’s and ethnic studies and as the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Lauren Underwood: U.S. Congress Illinois 14th District
Underwood is a registered nurse and health policy expert who served as a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama.
Lavangelene “Vangie” Williams: U.S. Congress Virginia 1st District
Williams is new to politics but has emerged as a powerful voice for the underserved working-class in her community, and she could make history as the first African-American to represent Virginia’s First Congressional District.