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Here are some of the women candidates to watch in 2018

In Boston this week, Ayanna Pressley joined the record number of women who are running for office and winning primaries in this year’s midterm elections.
Ayanna Pressley, Stacey Abrams, and Paulette Jordan.
Ayanna Pressley, Stacey Abrams, and Paulette Jordan.CJ Gunther, John Bazemore, Otto Kitsinger / EPA, AP

There are a record number of women running for political office and winning major party nominations. Just this week, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley soared past 10-term Representative Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary. Without a Republican challenger for the House seat on the ballot, Pressley is on her way to becoming Massachusetts’ first African-American congresswoman.

Pressley is hardly alone in her fight as a female campaigning for office this November. In 2018, 61 women have run for governor and 252 women, both Democrat and Republican, have scored major-party nominations for congressional seats, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Keep a close watch on the candidates below during this historic election season – you just may hear their names again.

Image: Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, speaks at a campaign event in Atlanta, Georgia on July 27, 2018.Erik S. Lesser / EPA file

Stacey Abrams (D)

State: Georgia

Race: Governor

Platform takeaways: Three central tenets of Abrams' campaign include raising “bold, ambitious children” by investing in public education, diversifying Georgia’s economy, and ending the pattern of “punish and penalize” in the criminal justice system.

Can you believe that… Abrams has already made history this year as the first African-American woman to ever win a major-party nomination for governor. If she wins, she will become the country’s first African-American female governor.

Image: Gina Ortiz Jones
Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee for a House seat in West Texas on Aug. 10, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.Eric Gay / AP file

Gina Ortiz Jones (D)

State: Texas

Race: Representative for the 23rd Congressional District

Platform takeaways: Ortiz Jones is championing responsible immigration reform, accessible and affordable healthcare, and standing up for veterans’ rights in Congress.

Can you believe that… If she wins, Ortiz Jones will be the first out-lesbian and Filipina-American to represent Texas in Congress. She’ll also be the first woman to represent her district. Did I mention she’s an Iraq War veteran too?

Gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan speaks during the Idaho District 18 Democrats Campaign Kickoff BBQ in Boise, Idaho on June 28, 2018.
Gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan speaks during the Idaho District 18 Democrats Campaign Kickoff BBQ in Boise, Idaho on June 28, 2018.Otto Kitsinger / AP file

Paulette Jordan (D)

State: Idaho

Race: Governor

Platform takeaways: Paulette’s priorities include Medicaid expansion, building an in-state medical school, a state-wide universal pre-school program and protecting Idaho’s land.

Can you believe that… She’s the first woman to win the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination in Idaho. And if she wins, Jordan will become the nation’s first Native American governor.

Rashida Tlaib on Morning Joe on Aug. 9, 2018.
Rashida Tlaib on Morning Joe on Aug. 9, 2018.MSNBC

Rashida Tlaib (D)

State: Michigan

Race: Representative for the 13th Congressional District

Platform takeaways: Tlaib is campaigning to end wage discrimination, increase public school funding and overturn President Trump’s travel ban.

Can you believe that… since Tlaib is running unopposed for her House seat, she is set to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

Christine Hallquist, a transgender utility executive seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Vermont
Christine Hallquist, a transgender utility executive, won the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Vermont.Wilson Ring / AP file

Christine Hallquist (D)

State: Vermont

Race: Governor

Platform takeaways: If elected, Hallquist plans to grow Vermont’s rural job market, take a stand as a leader against climate change and collaborate with other states to develop a plan for universal health care.

Can you believe that… Hallquist is the nation’s first openly transgender candidate to win a major-party nomination for governor. If she wins, she will become the first transgender governor in the United States.

Image: Tax Reform Presser
Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., GOP leaders and members of the House Ways and Means Committee, conduct a news conference in Longworth Building to unveil the Republicans' tax reform plan on Nov. 2, 2017.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. file

Kristi Noem (R)

State: South Dakota

Race: Governor

Platform takeaways: U.S. Rep Kristi Noem, who has won four terms in Congress, recognizes that her state’s economy is falling behind and wants to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses there. Additionally, she plans to create a blueprint for agricultural economic development if elected. She is also a vocal opponent against human trafficking and supports the Second Amendment.

Can you believe that… Noem is on her way to becoming South Dakota’s first female governor.

Regardless of the outcome, diverse American women have made history this year. Be sure to check out other female candidates running for office in your state today. November 6th will be here before you know it.

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