Arizona Governor: Kathy Hobbs (D) vs. Kari Lake (R)

Hobbs is currently secretary of state in what used to be a Republican stronghold. Lake is a former TV news anchor who loves sparring with the media and promoting Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen. A victory for Lake, who has appeared with figures associated with QAnon, would be a major boost for the former president and ominous for 2024.

Arizona Secretary of State: Mark Finchem (R) vs. Adrian Fontes (R)

Secretary of State picks have rarely made headlines in past midterm elections, but this time they could be vital to the future of American democracy. The race to become Arizona’s top election official pits Fontes, a lawyer and former Marine Finchemwho falsely claims voter fraud cost Trump the state in 2020 and who was at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Arizona Senate: Mark Kelly (D) vs. Blake Masters (R)

Kelly is a retired astronaut who rose to national prominence when his wife, then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot and critically wounded during an event in Tucson in 2011. Masters, a 36-year-old venture capitalist and associate of megadonor Peter Thiel, won the Republican nomination thanks to his endorsement of Trump, but has since softened. his speech on abortiongun control and immigration.

Florida Attorney General: Aramis Ayala (D) vs. Ashley Moody (R)

Ayala is the first black female state’s attorney in Florida history. Moody, incumbent, a former prosecutor and judge who recently joined 10 other Republican attorneys general in a legal memo taking Trump’s side against the Justice Department over the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago home. Like her predecessor, Pam Bondi, Moody could become a powerful Trump ally as the state’s top law enforcement official.

Georgia Governor: Stacey Abrams (D) vs. Brian Kemp (R)

Abrams, a suffragist, is vying to become the first black woman governor in American history. But she narrowly lost to Kemp in 2018, and polls suggest she may suffer the same fate in 2022. Kemp now enjoys the benefits of tenure and a strong state economy. It also has momentum after brushing aside the underlying problem from Trump-backed challenger David Perdue.

Georgia Senate: Herschel Walker (R) vs. Raphael Warnock (R)

Warnock’s victory in the January 2021 runoff was critical to Democrats gaining control of the Senate. Now the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King once preached, faces Walker, a former football star with a big name but little experience (he recently suggested that China’s air is polluted replaced the American ether). Polls show a tight race between the men, both of whom are African-American.

Ohio Senate: Tim Ryan (D) vs. JD. Vance (right)

A quintessential duel for voters. Ryan, a Democratic congressman, ran a spirited campaign, presenting himself as a moderate and accusing Vance of leaving the state for San Francisco to make millions in Silicon Valley. Vancethe author of Hillbilly Elegy, which in 2016 was seen as a kind of Rosetta Stone for understanding the Trump phenomenon, used to be a critic of Trump, but is now a full-fledged magician.

Pennsylvania Governor: Doug Mastriano (R) vs. Josh Shapiro (R)

Mastriano, a retired Army colonel and far-right state senator, has led protests against pandemic restrictions, backed efforts to reverse Trump’s 2020 election defeat and appeared outside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots. Critics say that, as governor, he could tip Trump toward the 2024 presidential election. Shapiro, the state attorney general, ran on a promise to protect democracy and electoral rights.

Pennsylvania Senate: John Fetterman (D) vs. Mehmet Oz (R)

One of the most colorful fights in the elections. Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, is 6-foot-8, recovering from a stroke that affected his speech and hearing, and is running aggressive ads mocking Oz for his lack of ties to the state. Oz, a heart surgeon and former host of the daytime TV show “The Dr. Oz Show,” benefited from Trump’s support in the primaries but has since backed down from the former president’s claims that the election was stolen.

Wisconsin State Senate: Mandela Barnes (D) vs. Ron Johnson (R)

This is the Democrats’ best chance to unseat an incumbent senator: Johnson is the only Republican running for re-election in a state Biden won in 2020. First elected as a fiscal conservative, he promoted bogus coronavirus treatments like mouthwash, dismissed climate change as “nonsense” and sought to play down the January 6 uprising. Barnes, currently serving as lieutenant governor, is vying to become the first black senator in Wisconsin history.