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Democratic Socialist Julia Salazar, a candidate for New York state Senate, delivers her victory speech in September. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty

Avery Bourne, Danica Roem and Jewell Jones are all part of a rare cohort — millennial lawmakers, making up just 6% of state legislatures across the country. But there may be a lot more of them starting next Tuesday.

Why it matters: Numerous studies signal a surge of youth voting in next Tuesday's midterm elections. But what has been less apparent is that millennials — as a group holding very different views by and large from older Americans — may significantly increase their seats in state legislatures and Congress.

  • About 700 millennial candidates are running in the approximately 6,000 state legislative races.
  • Most are Democrats.
  • If there is a wave of victories, as some forecast, that would lower the average age of 56 in the legislatures.

The big picture: Millennials are most likely to identify as liberal, numerous studies say. But Steven Olikara, founder of the Millennial Action Project, a national political group, tells Axios that millennials are also more likely to be bipartisan than their older counterparts.

They have "new ideas, fresh perspectives ... not focused on the left-vs-right agenda. The senior members are rigid in their thinking and more tribal in their politics. That’s part of a product of being in politics for such a long time.”
— Steven Olikara

Mark Gearan, director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard, tells Axios, "This is a generation less wedded to ideology and more open to creative ways to fix the problems that affect their daily lives, from healthcare to college tuition to finding good jobs."

By the numbers:

  • Between 600 and 700 Democratic millennials are running for office in 46 states, according to Run for Something, a Democratic group.
  • Republican groups contacted by Axios said they do not have a precise number of millennial GOP candidates. David James of the Republican State Leadership Committee said there are a "bunch of them." Among them are Bill Essayli, Meagan Hanson and Amber Little-Turner, running for seats in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania, respectively. They are on the RSLC's "18 Races to Watch" list.
"We are the future, and it’s great to see so many young Republicans stepping up to lead in their communities. It all starts at home!"
— Matthew Oberly, spokesman, Young Republican National Federation

What to watch: The burst of political participation by a more diverse and digitally savvy generation comes as young Americans have already taken over mayoral offices in Alabama, California and Indiana.

Go deeper

U.S. friends in Latin America are turning to China

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The U.S. is losing Latin America to China without putting up a fight, Ecuador’s ambassador to Washington told Axios, laying bare her frustrations with early inattention from the Biden administration.

Why it matters: Ecuador isn't alone. China has deepened its engagement in the region, and it's now the top trading partner for many of the region's largest economies. That gives Beijing considerable leverage in a region historically dominated by the U.S., and makes Latin America a major frontier in the global competition for influence.

1 dead, 14 injured in shooting at Kroger grocery store near Memphis

One person was killed and 14 others were injured Thursday in a shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tenn., near Memphis, the town's spokesperson Jennifer Casey said, per CNN.

What they're saying: "I've been involved in [police work] for 34 years and I have never seen anything like [this]," Police Chief Dale Lane said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: The approval is the near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans, and comes a day after the FDA approved Pfizer boosters for the two groups. CDC director Rochelle Walensky is expected to announce her recommendation soon.