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Millennials, people of color could make history in primary elections

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Gwen Graham
Democratic
gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham thanks a campaign volunteer
in Miami Lakes on Aug. 18, 2018.


AP
Photo/Brynn Anderson



  • Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections
    in Florida, Arizona, and Oklahoma for a potentially historic
    vote in state legislatures.
  • In these primaries, 15 millennials are running for
    seats in the House of Representatives, continuing the swell of
    younger candidates aiming to transform Congress in November’s
    midterm elections.
  • Four candidates in Florida stand to set demographic
    records for state offices if they win.
  • Interest in key issues, like gun control in Florida,
    are encouraging for younger candidates looking to challenge
    long-seated incumbents.

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Florida,
Arizona, and Oklahoma in a potentially historic vote.

Tonight’s primaries include 15 millennials who are running for
seats in the House of Representatives, and Florida’s race for
governor could yield some demographic firsts for state offices.

Continuing the swell of candidates gunning to shake up Congress
in November’s midterms, six millennials are running in Arizona,
and eight in Florida, according to Axios.

Four of the Sunshine State’s races could make history.

Democrat Cedric McMinn could become the state’s first
openly gay African-American lawmaker if he wins his race for
state representative.

Former state Rep. Gwen Graham and Tallahassee Mayor
Andrew Gillum both stand to make history if
successful in the race for Florida governor, as either the first
woman or the first African-American in the office, respectively.


Andrew Gillum
Democratic
gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum speaks to the crowd during a
campaign stop on Aug. 17, 2018 in Tampa.


AP
Photo/Chris O’Meara



If elected, Rep. Sean Shaw would be state’s
first African-American attorney general.

But they all have to win the primaries on Tuesday, then the
general election in November, if they’re going to make history.

The
Pew Research Center
defines millennials as born between 1981
and 1996, making the age ceiling for the term 37. The average age
of a member of Congress is almost 58 in the House and almost 62
in the Senate — one of the oldest in recent history, according to
the Congressional Research Service.

Votes in Florida and Arizona will serve as particularly strong
examples for changing the status quo, as Democratic groups look
for wins with gun control on voters’ minds two days after a
deadly shooting in
Jacksonville
.

Since the massacre in Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas
High School students have been leaders on the national stage
advocating for stricter gun laws and pushing for more engagement
from younger voters.

The parents of two of the students killed in the massacre are
running for two Broward County
school board seats, on platforms that push improved school
safety, which they say was not a priority before the shooting.

Though some younger candidates have grabbed headlines this
election season — such as the stunning defeat of a longtime New
York representative by 28-year-old Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a
surge in youth interest and activity in policy stands to transform the House.

Tuesday’s elections are the final multistate primaries before the
general elections in November.

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