Women to Watch in the November General Elections

The countdown to the November gubernatorial general elections has begun, and this year the stakes are high for female candidates. A record number of women are on the ballot in 2018, many spearheading first-time political campaigns and running against longtime, male incumbents. In other states, women are poised to make record “firsts” -- first female governor in a state, first black female representative even first Muslim woman elected to office in the U.S.

These women's’ election is banking on people, most notably other women, showing up to support them in the polls. Keep an eye on the pivotal races of these five women running for office in November, and be sure to show solidarity for your local sister candidates.

1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — New York (House)

Photo courtesy Facebook

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been making headlines for months in her powerful grassroots campaign for the House of Representatives in the Bronx, New York. She is the No. 1 candidate to keep an eye on, and a definite political force to be reckoned with in the future.

2. Rashida Tlaib -- Michigan (House)

Photo courtesy Bustle

Used to being a first, Tlaib may be one of a few women running for office in 2018 to become the first female Muslim congressperson. Tlaib, like many women running including Ocasio-Cortez, is a socialist and a progressive. In 2016, Tlaib was kicked out of a Trump campaign event for protesting and may take former Rep. John Conyers’ seat following sexual harassment claims made against him.

3. Lauren Underwood, -- Illinois (House)

Photo courtesy Daily Herald

Lauren Underwood, though not nationally known, may affectionately be known as the midwest’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Underwood, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and a nurse, is running in one of the reddest districts in Illinois in an attempt to unseat Rep. Randy Hultgren.

"We've known this is going to be tough and it's going to be very close and it's going to come down to who comes out to vote," Hultgren told ABC-7 in an Oct. 18 interview.

4. Ilhan Omar — Minnesota (House)

Photo courtesy Wedge Live

At 8 years old, Ilhan Omar was living in a refugee camp. Now, she is waging one of the toughest campaign fights of 2018 in order to become a state representative. Her Republican counterparts have spread vicious rumors about her, including allegations of her marrying her brother, committing immigration fraud and campaign money laundering. They’ve even created billboards to spread the “disgusting lies,” as Omar calls them. However, if she wins the battle in November she is set to become the first Somali-American and Muslim woman in the House of Representatives.

5. Gina Ortiz Jones — Texas (House)

Photo courtesy Huffington Post

Gina Ortiz Jones had worked under both George Bush and Barack Obama’s administration's as an intelligence officer and a director in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, respectfully. But, a few months into Donald Trump’s presidency, she decided she couldn’t stay. Jones, as an openly lesbian woman, was appalled by his behavior, his policies, and his administrative employments. Instead of just quitting, though, she decided to run for Congress. If elected, she will be the first Filipina-American, lesbian, Iraqi veteran to take office in Texas.