It’s election day in America. With so much at stake, voting at all levels of government — whether for your state’s governor or for a seat on your town’s school board — is more important than ever. Check with local news for up-to-date information on important elections in your area.
Key Governor’s Races
In Virginia, former governor and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe squares off against Republican Glenn Youngkin, a former businessman. Although Virginia has become progressively blue over the past decade, McAuliffe and Youngkin are deadlocked in current polls, leading many political analysts to speculate that the state’s gubernatorial race is also a referendum on the Biden presidency, and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
In the New Jersey gubernatorial race, Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy is predicted to win another term in office against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. If he wins, Murphy, who succeeded former governor Chris Christie (a Republican) in 2017, would be the first Democrat to win re-election since 1977.
Two out LGBTQ+ women are making history with their bids to become mayors of major American cities.
India Walton, a registered nurse, defeated incumbent Byron Brown in the Democratic primary for mayor back in June. Now, following an aggressive write-in campaign on behalf of Brown, she faces him again in today’s election. If Walton wins, she would be the first woman, the first out woman, and the first woman of color to lead the city.
Community organizer Sheila Nezhad also looks to make history in Minneapolis, where she is running to become both the city and state’s first out LGBTQ+ mayor. She is one of 17 candidates in the race to lead Minneapolis, which has been rocked by protests and calls for social and judicial change following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in 2020.
Also on the ballot in Minneapolis: a referendum that would create a Department of Public Safety, altering how the city is policed. The referendum is seen as a test of calls to “defund the police” through alternative means of safety enforcement.
Atlanta is also fielding a number of candidates (14) in its mayoral race after its current mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced that she would not seek re-election.
In Boston, progressive Democrat Michelle Wu squares off against moderate Democrat and current city councilor-at-large Annissa Essaibi George in the city’s mayoral race. The winning candidate will become the first woman of color elected to lead the city (current mayor Kim Janey assumed office after the previous mayor, Marty Walsh, was nominated to serve in the Biden administration).
The race for New York City’s next mayor is somewhat less dramatic, with Democratic candidate and former NYPD captain Eric Adams expected to win over his closest challenger, Republican and Independent candidate Curtis Sliwa. Adams had edged out other Democratic candidates in a tightly-contested primary back in June.
Across the Country
In local races around the United States, LGBTQ+ candidates are running for a variety of positions in their municipalities. Among the candidates are Liliana Bakhtiari, who is running for City Council in Atlanta’s District 5; Crystal Hudson, who would be the first out Black woman elected to New York City’s City Council (for District 35); and Christopher Coburn who, in his bid for Bozeman City Commission, would become the first out Black candidate elected to office in Montana.