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On Politics With Lisa Lerer: On to November

Category: Political News,Politics

One for the history books.

After years of stagnating around 20 percent of Congress, record-breaking numbers of women are running for House, Senate and governor. They were joined by unprecedented numbers of L.G.B.T. and minority candidates.

Every primary night seemed to bring another first: Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar are likely to be the first Muslim women in Congress; Deb Haaland of New Mexico is poised to be the first Native American woman; and Gina Ortiz Jones, of Texas, could become the first Filipina-American. And in Vermont, Christine Hallquist became the first transgender candidate for governor on a major party ticket.

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Jonathan Martin’s district of the week

We’re starting what we hope will be a regular feature: Tapping the brain of our national political correspondent Jonathan Martin. No one knows political trivia — or where to find the best nosh on the campaign trail — better. He sent us this:

Like many of you, I have the Carolinas on my mind this week. And I can’t think of the Carolinas without thinking of Charleston.

Few cities have been impacted by a storm like the Holy City. Hurricane Hugo devastated Charleston in 1989, and the legacy of legendary former Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. is inextricably linked to the recovery he helped oversee. (How much does Charleston love its still-alive-and-well former mayor? They named their new minor league baseball stadium after him, and quickly short-handed it as “The Joe”).

Lisa tells me this is the part of these riffs where I have to offer restaurant suggestions, so here goes: The Ordinary, a really neat space in an old bank downtown, or The Wreck, which is a beer-served-in-a-can beauty on Shem Creek over in Mt. Pleasant.

I am hardly alone in my weakness for the charms of Charleston, and as more folks move to the area, its politics are changing. While still Republican-leaning, the congressional district that takes in most of the city could feature one of this year’s sleeper races. Republicans there ousted Representative Mark Sanford in a primary earlier this year and are running Katie Arrington, an enthusiastic backer of President Trump, against the Democrat Joe Cunningham, a local attorney.

It is one of those districts where, if Mr. Trump’s fortunes don’t improve, Republicans could find themselves in an unexpectedly competitive race.


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