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Rural voters' guide to this year’s midterm election

Mark Makela/Stringer/Getty Images Voters cast ballots at rural polling place
RURAL VOTERS: Two years ago, rural voters made a difference in the 2016 presidential election. This year’s midterm election is set for Nov. 6.
Don’t forget to vote on Nov. 6.

Two years ago, I wrote an editorial on the importance of farmers and rural voters coming out to the polls to vote in the presidential election.

I'm not going to take any credit, but the rural vote was a key part of President Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.

There is no presidential election this year, but in less than two weeks another important election will be held. The entire House of Representatives is up for election along with numerous Senate seats and governorships in our region.

For agriculture, the upcoming election is crucial. National issues such as the dairy crisis, immigration and trade remain largely unresolved. Local issues such as gas pipeline construction and environmental regulations are also on farm voters' minds. 

If you haven't been paying attention or you just don't have time, here is a primer on the upcoming election and the races you should be watching:

House of Representatives
Every seat in the House is up for election in two weeks, but there are some notable races in our region.

In Pennsylvania, incumbent Republican Glenn "GT" Thompson is running against Democrat Susan Boser in the redrawn 15th District. This race is significant because Thompson is the vice chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.

Other members of the committee up for re-election are Democrats Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Ann Kuster of New Hampshire, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania. John Faso, a Republican from New York, also sits on the ag committee and is up for re-election.

Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images

IMPORTANT RACES: Several races in our region involve candidates whom have had a direct impact on agricultural policy.

Two other intriguing races are in Pennsylvania, where Dennis Wolff, former state secretary of agriculture and a Democrat, is running against Republican Dan Meuser in the redrawn 9th District, and incumbent Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker is going up against Democrat Jess King in the state's 11th District.

U.S. Senate
Every state in the region except for New Hampshire has a Senate race. The races of interest include members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in our region.

In Pennsylvania, incumbent Democrat Sen. Robert Casey is going up against former Republican Rep. Lou Barletta. In New York, incumbent Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is facing off against Republican Chele Farley.

Every state in our region except for Delaware and New Jersey has a governor's race.

Here are the candidates organized alphabetically by state:

• Connecticut: Democrat Ned Lamont vs. Republican Bob Stefanowski

• Maine: Democrat Janet Mills vs. Republican Shawn Moody

• Maryland: incumbent Republican Larry Hogan vs. Democrat Ben Jealous

• Massachusetts: incumbent Republican Charlie Baker vs. Democrat Jay Gonzalez

• New Hampshire: incumbent Republican Chris Sununu vs. Democrat Molly Kelly

• New York: incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo vs. Republican Marcus Molinaro

• Pennsylvania: incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf vs. Republican Scott Wagner

• Rhode Island: incumbent Democrat Gina Raimondo vs. Republican Allan Fung

• Vermont: incumbent Republican Phil Scott vs. Democrat Christine Hallquist

And don't forget about the many local elections going on.

No matter where you live and what issues are important to you, be sure to cast your vote on Nov. 6. Farmers and rural people showed two years ago that they can affect a presidential election. Every election is critical, so make sure your voice is heard.

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