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Mid-Term Elections sees record number of Black nominees

By Frederick H. Lowe /Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from TheNorthStarNews.com
On October 20, 2014

Utah’s Mia Love could become the first Black woman Republican elected to Congress.
Credit: love4utah.com

A record number of African Americans are nominees for federal and state offices in the upcoming mid-term elections in November.

Eighty-three African-American candidates are running for federal office exceeding the previous high of 72 set in 2012, said Dr. David A. Bositis, an independent political consultant and former senior research associate for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank for Black elected officials.

Sixty-six of the candidates are Democrats and 17 are Republicans. Sixty of the Democrats are running for the U.S. House of Representatives and two are nominees for the U.S. Senate. The number of Democratic nominees is record setting, surpassing the previous high of 59 in 2012. 

In statewide races, 25 Black candidates are running for office, well ahead of the record 17 nominees in 2002. This includes 24 Democrats and one Republican, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. 

Thirteen women and 12 men are among the nominees and five are incumbents. There are three nominees for the U.S. Senate and two African Americans have been nominated for governor. 

Increased racial polarization is driving the increase in African-American major party nominees at both the state and federal level. 

“In the South, whites are withdrawing from Democratic Party politics, leaving black candidates the nominations by default,” said Bositis. 

He predicted that five Black women will be elected to Congress: Democrats Brenda Lawrence of Michigan; Alma Adams of North Carolina; Stacy Plaskett of the Virgin Islands; and Bonnie Watson Colman of New Jersey.

Mia Love of Utah is expected to become the first Black woman Republican to be elected to Congress.  

The increase in the number of Black women in Congress will boost the 42 member Congressional Black Caucus by two to 44. 

The CBC is expected to pick up two additional seats with the possible elections of Lawrence, who is expected to replace John Dingell Jr., who is retiring; and Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat, is expected to replace Congressman Rush Holt Jr., who also is retiring. Adams and Plaskett are replacing Democratic

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