Historic Firsts in U.S. Elections

Evelyn M. Simien, Editor

Routledge, 2022

Historic Firsts in U.S. Elections: Trailblazing Candidates in Gubernatorial, Congressional, and Mayoral Campaigns examines barrier-breaking figures across various types of elective offices and constituent groups. The moment in which historic firsts enter the electoral arena, and the unique campaigns that ensue, are shown to be symbolically empowering. These change agents on the campaign trail become lighting rods for more liberal policies, and their candidacies are tied to questions of representation, electability, and performance. The distinctive combinations of race, ethnicity, and gender identities represented here translate into voter excitement to go to the polls and participate in other ways. Original chapters by respected scholars and practitioners consider how recent breakthrough elections are similar to yet different from past elections for gubernatorial, congressional, and mayoral offices. The shadow of Donald Trump’s wildly unconventional U.S. presidency looms over this groundbreaking analysis, linking local to national level politics. For students of politics across the curriculum, this book expands the theoretical capacity of intersectionality research and links it to voter mobilization and electoral success.

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