After political boost, Black women in Alabama running for office in large numbers
In December, Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won his Senate race largely due to Black voters — particularly Black women — who showed up and showed out for him. Now, many Black women are doing the same for themselves.
Jones defeat of opponent Roy Moore has apparently inspired Black Alabamans to step into the political arena themselves. So as many as 35 Black women are running for office in southern Alabama, according to NBC News.
Many are said to be running for the first time, but that isn’t holding them back or causing them worry.
“It’s so important that we step up, that we show the nation that we can lead,” Jameria Moore, 49, told NBC. Moore is an attorney running for judgeship on the Jefferson County Probate Court. “That, here in Alabama, we’re ready to lead our state into the future.”
“I have friends in other states who say, ‘I don’t know how you live in Alabama,’ and I tell them, ‘Why wouldn’t I live in Alabama?'” she continued. “This is an opportunity, that’s how I look at it.”
Black voters made up 29% of all votes, just like the 2012 and 2008 elections when President Obama was on the ballot. In the heated contest between Jones and Moore, 96 percent of African-Americans in Alabama cast their votes for Jones, including 98% of Black women voters.
The election victory has given confidence for running for public office to Black women who might not have had it prior to the Jones win. They’re also hoping that they will gain the support of Jones, who recently appointed Black ex-Obama official, Dana Gresham, as his chief of staff.
“Alabama is not a state that is known for electing women to office, so, in some sense, this is surprising, historic and much needed,” said Richard Fording, a professor of public policy at the University of Alabama.
Here’s to pushing forward with purpose and rigor, Black women! Keep changing the world!
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