Vote 2010 Election: First-Time Candidates for House Are a Diverse Bunch

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When Americans go to the polls Tuesday to decide the 2010 election, they'll choose from a dazzlingly diverse group of candidates, many of whom have never run for a major political office.

Most of the first-time candidates are running for the House of Representatives, and they come from backgrounds that include everything from restaurant kitchens to the operating room.

Watch "World News with Diane Sawyer" for full coverage of the 2010 election.

In Michigan, a former hay farmer is running for the House.

Democratic candidate Gary McDowell touts his experience in the fields in his ads, with a narrator intoning that "when you work as a hay farmer your entire life, people aren't your voters, they're your neighbors."

"I've never run for Congress. I never thought I'd ever be running for Congress," McDowell told ABC News.

In southern California, a police officer is running for the first time, and in northern California, a candy maker is too.

Then there's Bobby Schilling, the owner of a Moline, Ill. pizza parlor. In addition to spinning pies in his shop, Schilling is running for office as a Republican.

That's just a handful of the more than 200 candidates that tomorrow, will be on the ballot for public office for the very first time.

Surgeon Puts Down Knife to Run For Office

Sixteen candidates running for Congress are doctors, including Dr. Larry Bucshon, an Indiana heart surgeon who was upset about health care reform legislation.

"It really piqued my interest," said Bucshon, a Republican. "People in medicine like myself should come forward."

Four of the first-time candidates for major office are former basketball or football players, and there's even a gospel singer from Frog Jump, Tenn.

138 of the major party candidates vying for House seats are women. 38 are Latino, and 61 are African-American, of which 14 are Republicans.

African-American Candidates Run as Republicans

Tim Scott of South Carolina, a Tea Party conservative, is favored to become the first African-American Republican elected to Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction. His district is 75 percent white.

"There's no question that the issues are more important than the race," Scott said.

Together, this eclectic array of citizen-candidates is a portrait in stark contrast to the image of Congress as the exclusive domain of professional politicians. It really is a portrait of America.

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