The 10 candidates you might not know, but definitely should

You’ve heard plenty from us (and others) this election cycle about the breakout stars and biggest names of 2014. Today, we thought we’d do something different and introduce you to a handful of candidates whom you may not be familiar with but who are worthy of your attention.

In some cases, the candidates have very interesting or unique backgrounds. In others, they have a better chance of winning than many people think but just haven’t gotten much buzz — either because of the party tilts of their states or the lower profile of their races.
Below is our list of 10 under-the-radar contenders you should know about, in alphabetical order. Disagree? Have suggestions for others? The comments section awaits your input!
To the Line!
Shenna Bellows (U.S. Senate seat, Maine): Bellows (D) is a clear long-shot against popular Sen. Susan Collins (R). But how many Senate candidates are out there praising both Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)? A former head of the ACLU, Bellows has scored the backing of the DSCC and even outraised Collins during the last three months of 2013. (Collins has since ramped up her fundraising efforts, nearly tripling her total in the most recent quarter.)

Shenna Bellows (Washington Post photo)

Travis Childers (U.S. Senate, Mississippi): The former congressman was once the toast of the national Democratic Party, winning a key special election in a strongly conservative Mississippi district in 2008. He lost in 2010, and there was little fanfare when he entered the race against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) earlier this year. But if state Sen. Chris McDaniel can upend Cochran in the GOP primary, don’t count Childers out. He’s got the kind of profile Democrats need to win in the Deep South – provided he gets some help, of course.

Washington Post The Fix