States In Play for The New York Times – by Luke Sharrett


An old Alaska Railroad car sits on a stub track in Anchorage, Ak. on Friday, September 26, 2014. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.

Louisville, KY-based photographer Luke Sharrett traveled to Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Georgia for a New York Times project called States In Play.

As a freelancer, I don’t usually travel too far beyond the borders of my beloved home state of Kentucky. However, this fall The New York Times enlisted me to work on a project called States In Play. From August through October I was able to travel to six states in four timezones. The midterm races in these state were too close to call, making them battlegrounds in the year-long struggle for political control of the U.S. Senate. Instead of focusing on the individual candidates and their campaigns, each story examined a long-term cultural or economic issue that influenced local voters in 2014. Thank you to The New York Times for the assignment and sincerest gratitude to my dear wife Elizabeth for caring for our infant son during my absence.

See more photos on Luke’s blog.


Tires weigh down plastic waterproofing atop piles of silage at a large dairy farm in Morgan County, Colorado. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.


A trucker walks back to his big rig at Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop on Interstate 80 in Walcott, Iowa on Monday, September 29, 2014. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.


Downtown Crowley, La., is reflected in a storefront window on Thursday, October 23, 2014 in Crowley, La. The town of Crowley is know as “The Rice Capital of America” and is home to the annual International Rice Festival. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.

North Carolina

A Sunday morning service is held at Evans Metropolitan AME Zion Church in Fayetteville, N.C. on Sunday, August 31, 2014. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.


A pedestrian walks along Campbellton Street in downtown Douglasville, Ga. on Sunday, August 24, 2014. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.

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