In Mississippi, voters could send the state’s first elected woman to the Senate – or the first African-American since the Reconstruction period following the Civil War.
And in one of nearly three dozen congressional races where both candidates are women, Arizona voters will choose the state’s first woman senator.
Many of the candidates, mostly Democrats, already marked milestones nationally or in their states by winning their primaries.
Here are the candidates in some of those potentially barrier-breaking races:
U.S. House of Representatives
Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland: Could be the first Native American congresswomen. Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, would also be Kansas’ first LGBTQ member of Congress. Haaland is a New Mexico Democrat and member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer: Could be the youngest women elected to Congress. Both are 29, although Finkenauer is more than nine months older than Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and activist. Finkenauer, a Democrat, could also become Iowa’s first U.S. congresswoman.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib: Poised to become the first Muslim women in Congress. Omar, a Democratic Minnesota state representative, is already the nation’s first Somali-American legislator, and could also become the state’s first woman of color elected to Congress. Tlaib, a former state legislator who is also a Democrat, ran unopposed in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, which includes parts of Detroit.
Gina Ortiz Jones: Could be the first Filipina-American in Congress and Texas’ first openly LGBTQ member of Congress. Ortiz Jones, a Democrat, served as an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq.
Jahana Hayes: Could become Connecticut’s first black woman – along with the state’s first black Democrat – elected to Congress. Hayes is a political newcomer who was the 2016 National Teacher of the Year.
Ayanna Pressley: Poised to become the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. The Boston City Councilor is a Democrat who ran unopposed in the general election.
Lauren Baer: Could be Florida’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress. Baer, a Democrat, is an attorney, foreign policy expert and former Obama administration official who advised former secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Angie Craig: Could be Minnesota’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress. Craig, a Democrat, is a former medical device executive.
Rick Neal: Could be Ohio’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress. Neal, a Democrat, is a community activist who worked abroad in public health and humanitarian relief.
Eddie Edwards versus Chris Pappas: Edwards could be New Hampshire’s first African-American member of Congress and his opponent, Pappas, could be the state’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress. Edwards, a Republican and former police chief, is running against Pappas, a Democrat and restaurateur, in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
Marsha Blackburn: Could be Tennessee’s first woman senator. A Republican U.S. representative, Blackburn is Tennessee’s first Republican woman nominated for U.S. Senate and the state’s first woman in 40 years to be nominated by a major party for the U.S. Senate.
Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema: Either will be Arizona’s first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Both U.S. representatives, McSally, a Republican, and Sinema, a Democrat, battled each other to replace GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who is retiring. If elected, Sinema could also become the first openly bisexual senator.
Cindy Hyde-Smith versus Mike Espy: Hyde-Smith could be Mississippi’s first elected woman in Congress. A Republican who already represents Mississippi in the U.S. Senate, Hyde-Smith was appointed to fill a vacancy in April. She is running in a special election against GOP state Sen. Chris McDaniel and Mike Espy, who if elected would be Mississippi’s first African-American senator since Reconstruction. Espy is a former Democratic congressman and was U.S. secretary of agriculture during the Clinton administration.
Stacey Abrams: Could be the nation’s first African-American female governor. Abrams, a Georgia Democrat, is a former state legislator who was the first African-American woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the country.
Paulette Jordan: Could be the nation’s first Native American governor and Idaho’s first female governor. She is the first woman to win the Democratic Party’s nomination in her state for governor. She is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.
Christine Hallquist: Could be the nation’s first openly transgender governor. Hallquist, a Vermont Democrat and former utility CEO, is already the first openly transgender candidate to be nominated for governor.
Jared Polis: Could be the nation’s first openly gay man elected governor. Polis has represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in the House since 2009.
Michelle Lujan Grisham and Lupe Valdez: Could be the first Democratic Latina governors after they were the first to be nominated. Lujan Grisham is a U.S. representative from New Mexico who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Valdez, a former Dallas County sheriff, could also be Texas’ first LGBTQ governor. She was the first out LGBTQ Latina candidate in the country to win a major party’s nomination for governor.
Andrew Gillum: Could be Florida’s first African-American governor. Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, is Florida’s first African-American major party nominee for governor.
David Garcia: Could be Arizona’s first Latino governor in more than 40 years. Garcia is a Democrat and former state education official.
Ben Jealous: Could be Maryland’s first African-American governor. Jealous, a Democrat, is the former head of the NAACP.
Kristi Noem: Could be South Dakota’s first female governor. Noem, a Republican, has served as the state’s at-large representative in the House since 2011.
Andria Tupola: Could be Hawaii’s first Native Hawaiian woman governor. Tupola, a Republican, is the first Samoan/Hawaiian woman to serve in her current position as the state House Minority Leader.