African-American Candidates Look to Make History

The USA Today had a front page article in Wednesday's paper titled Election tests how much race matters.  The article highlights Democratic gubernatorial nominee Deval Patrick, who is attempting to become the 1st black governor of Massachusetts, and only the second black governor in U.S. history.

The article also references five other black candidates in high profile races:

Ken Blackwell,     Republican nominee for governor of Ohio.

Erik Fleming,      Democratic Senate nominee in Mississippi

Harold Ford, Jr.,  Democratic Senate nominee in Tennessee

Michael Steele     Republican Senate nominee in Maryland

Lynn Swann        Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania

My favorite quote from the article is from a white audience member at one of Deval Patrick's campaign stops, who said color is not a factor in the governor's race.  "It looks to me like he has a deep tan," said the owner of a Minuteman Press franchise.  Why do people tell that lie?  That they don't see color.  That they are color blind.  As long as you can see and hear, race will always be a factor.  It may not be the determining factor, but race is always a factor. The article suggests that some white voters say they will vote for black candidates, yet can't seal the deal on election day.

Incidently, there are an increasing number of African-Americans running as Republicans.  Many local judicial contests feature Black Republicans.  Renee Hartley had an interesting opinion on these candidates on her Blue Island Blog.  You can also see my comments there as well. 

Deval Patrick seems to be a shoe in, Ford and Steele are in neck and neck races, and the other three candidates are fighting an uphill battle.  Either way, this will be a historic election for African-American hopefuls, and I can't wait until Tuesday.  Get the popcorn ready; it could be a long night.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *