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Down to the wire: These first-time women candidates are making their final pitch for votes

Our four female candidates are running for office for the first time, which means participating in their first political debates.

If you want to make it to the top, you usually have to take down the person who’s already there — and, in American politics, you need money to do it. Lots and lots of money.

In this third installment of the four-part web series “She’s Running,” first-time candidates Deidre DeJear, Pearl Kim, Anna Eskamani, and Morgan Zegers must survive debates, raise voters’ awareness, and cajole donors into opening their checkbooks. Two of their opponents are experienced incumbents, which makes all that even harder.


“People know me, but not as much as they know him,” DeJear explained.

“You’re up against the status quo, which tends to have unlimited resources,” added Eskamani. The Republican Party of Florida has launched more than a dozen mailers against Eskamani, several of which depict her wielding a megaphone and shouting curses.

Each woman could make history in this year’s midterm elections on Nov. 6.

  • Democrat DeJear, who’s running for Iowa secretary of state, could be the first African-American to be elected statewide in Iowa.
  • Republican Kim could become the first Korean-American woman in Congress if she wins her race for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.
  • Democrat Eskamani could be the first Iranian-American elected to the Florida Legislature.
  • Republican Zegers could become the youngest-ever member of the New York state Assembly.

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the “She’s Running” web series, and tune in after Election Day for Part 4. If you can’t wait, watch VICE News Tonight on HBO’s “She’s Running” series, following Democrat Katie Hill’s campaign for California’s 25th Congressional District, and sign up for VICE News’ weekly “She’s Running” newsletter, tracking all things women in politics.