The Midterms - Arkansas and Mississippi!
Let's swing down to the Deep (Red) South! Arkansas and Mississippi used to be Democratic, then after Johnson and the Civil Rights Act they started a slow switch to the Republican party which has been complete for a while now. However, MS in particular is not a state we should write off, with an African American population of 37%! If they had really high turnout in combination with a good turnout from liberal whites, MS could be in play again.
But let's start with Arkansas, which is a bit more out of reach.
So AR is having a governor's race, but its not considered particularly competitive. Our candidate is Jared Henderson (who among other things used to be a NASA scientist!) There are also races for the other state executive offices.
No Senate race this year, and only 1 of the 4 House seats is considered even mildly competitive. That's AR2, which covers Little Rock and nearby areas. It is R+7, so definitely a gettable district in a wave year. Our candidate is State Rep Clarke Tucker.
Half the State Senate is up this year, and Republicans have a 26-9 majority. Flipping the chamber is probably out of reach, but the best time to start building a state party is now! Races to watch:
SD19 (Pocahontas): Susi Epperson is PCCC endorsed for this open seat.
SD35 (Conway): Maureen Skinner is the Our Revolution endorsed candidate to flip this seat!
In the State House, all seats are up! Republicans have a 73-27 majority, but again, the time to party-build is now! See the full list of Dem candidates here.
AR has 2 very important ballot measures this year.
Issue 2 - This would require a photo ID to vote in AR. As with all other of these types of laws, the purpose here is not to stop voter fraud, which is exceedingly rare, but to prevent minorities and poor people from voting. Not many things get me as worked up as this, PLEASE VOTE NO!
Issue 5 - This would raise the minimum wage to $11! Which would be awesome and will hopefully drive some great Dem turnout!!
On to Mississippi!
State elections are in 2019, so check back next year for those!
There are two, count 'em TWO Senate elections this year in MS! And I really don't see why they aren't being more heavily contested after what happened in Alabama!
The first is Republican incumbent Roger Wicker vs State Minority leader David Baria. The other is a special election for Thad Cochran's seat after he had to resign due to poor health. The appointed incumbent is Cindy Hyde-Smith, the former MS Agriculture Commissioner. In a fun twist, she is facing Mike Espy, who was US Secretary of Agriculture under Clinton, and also a former Congressman. Espy is also African-American, which will hopefully help to drive turnout among the massive African-American voting bloc in MS. This race is considered somewhat competitive because Hyde-Smith is not a long-serving incumbent and because of the potential turnout excitement from Espy. That would be awesome, but while Dem voters are there I hope they will vote for Baria as well, and their Dem House candidate!
No MS House seat is considered really competitive, since by design there is 1 Dem district and 3 Republican. The closest would be MS3, which covers part of Jackson and a diagonal swath from the LA to AL borders. Though the district is R+13, the seat is open. Our candidate is Michael Ted Evans, a Stat Rep and firefighter.
There are 2 special elections for state legislative seats on Nov 6. One is HD31 (Indianola), which is a Dem district. There a bunch of people running, so there will likely be a runoff, so check out all the candidates!
The other is HD85 (Fayette, Port Gibson), and is also Dem held with a lot of candidates and a potential runoff.
And that's it! It's ALL about turnout, so get out there and #beavoter!