Skip to comments.More blacks run as Republicans in South
Posted on 06/14/2004 11:04:36 AM PDT by kattracks
ATLANTA (AP) -- Herman Cain is a well-to-do black businessman with a strong belief that the Democratic Party that blacks embraced during the civil rights struggle has swung too far to the left.
That is why he is running for the U.S. Senate this year as a Republican.
More black Republicans are running for office in Georgia this year than ever before, and black candidates in other Southern states are also finding that declaring for the GOP is more accepted than it was just a few years ago.
It is a small shift that Republican activists say could pay big dividends if it continues.
"It doesn't mean the majority of blacks will be voting Republican anytime soon," said Atlanta GOP pollster Whit Ayres. "But if you can move the percentage of blacks who vote Republican from 5 percent to 15 percent, you will change the outcome of a lot of close Southern elections."
That may be why the Republican National Committee has an office dedicated to courting black voters and candidates, and has several blacks running in high-profile races.
In North Carolina, Winston-Salem City Councilman Vernon Robinson is running for Congress with campaign mailings likening himself to the state's arch-conservative icon: "Jesse Helms is back! And this time he's black."
In Georgia, a record 14 black Republican candidates are seeking legislative seats. Among them is Willie Talton, who is running unopposed for the House and plans to take office in January as the first black Republican lawmaker in the Georgia Legislature since Reconstruction.
Georgia's slate also includes Dylan Glenn, a young black political operative with ties to President Bush. Glenn is running for Congress.
Alabama gained its first black Republican state lawmaker since Reconstruction when Rep. Johnny Ford changed parties last year.
Two black Republicans are on the ballot in Tennessee this year. And in Florida, Rep. Jennifer Carroll of Jacksonville became that state's first female black Republican legislator when she was elected in 2003.
What is driving some blacks to abandon the party most closely associated with civil rights to join the more conservative party?
One reason given is the improving economics of black households.
In Georgia, for example, black household income still trailed that of whites in the 2000 census. But the median income in black households rose faster than that of white households over the past three decades 655 percent to 469 percent.
"It's not just people who've already moved into the middle class, but people who are trying to move up economically who are deciding that they are better aligned with many of the Republican candidates," said Senate candidate Cain.
Another factor is that to many younger voters, the civil rights struggle is just something they have read in history books, said William Boone, a political science professor at historically black Clark Atlanta University.
"Look at the age category of these folks. Many of them are folk who are several generations removed from the civil rights movement and have a different view of what the world is all about," he said.
For some blacks, there is a sense that Democrats have taken them for granted for years.
LaRon Bennett Sr., a black businessman from Glynn County who is running as a Republican for county commission, said Democrats "used fear and intimidation to keep blacks in the party, painting the picture that, in essence, they were the only alternative. You don't have any place to go."
In the Republican Party, "there's a great willingness and eagerness to have good, solid, sound minority candidates," Bennett said.
The party's civil rights record might not be flawless, he added, "but today I think the party has changed significantly, and is changing."
For others, there is a belief the Democratic Party does not speak for blacks on some issues.
Cain, who opposes abortion, said he believes a majority of black voters take a similar view on that and other issues of family values.
Boone, the political science professor, is not ready to go that far, but said the experts are mistaken when they categorize all blacks as liberal.
"The black folk we've chatted with indicate they are against abortion. They are prepared to talk about choice, but whether they would condone abortion, the answer is no," Boone said.
Will white Republicans vote for a black candidate? And will black voters support a Republican? Georgia's July 20 primaries and the Nov. 2 general election will help provide answers.
Emory University political science professor Merle Black said he believes most blacks will continue to support Democrats.
"This activity is concentrated among a relatively small number of conservative blacks," he said. "The vast majority of African-American voters are Democrat. I haven't seen much evidence of substantial growth of black Republicanism in the state."
Bobby Kahn, Georgia's Democratic Party chairman, agreed.
Every election cycle, the Republicans "try to prove they're an inclusive party, notwithstanding the domination by white guys. But then their policies and tactics seem to contradict any effort at inclusion," he said. "This is symbolic and nothing more."
What a lie.
KKK is the militant wing of the DNC. Republicans promoted civil rights legislation...
If they are of good moral character, conservative, and can support his/her positions...why not!
Another ping for your consideration...
In TEXAS, we have two state wide elected officials who are black and GOP. Our Railroad Commissioner and a Supreme Court Justice are both good GOP. I belong to a GOP club in my town and we have quite a few active Latinos and blacks in our group.
Guess this reporter forgot all about JC Watts.
The reporter left out another candidate in Virginia running against Bobby Scott, former Marine and member of the Virginia General Assembly Winsome Sears.
Ditto. I would vote for Herman Cain in a heartbeat.
Bump. This is good news.
"Will white Republicans vote for a black candidate?"
If he/she shares my political views better then the alternative, certainly!
IMO, this is a vital trend if the Republicans are to keep any principles at all. We need the moral blacks, hispanics and whoever else to join our side against the radical left. They belong with us!!!!
I think this article misses the biggest reason is happening and will only increase, though it sort of hints at it with the abortion issue:
Outside of civil rights issues that directly affect blacks and wealth redistribution, the average black person is extremely conservative.
They are, as the article suggests, not particularly excited about abortion, and the majority of them (60% in all the polls I've seen) favor school vouchers/choice. They're not exactly big fans of "alternative lifestyles" and often resent homosexuals portraying themselves as fellow "minorities" in the great civil rights struggle. They prefer that you cut to the chase and "make it plain" as they often say at my church -- and so are less easily mesmerized by psychobabble and more suspicious of "intellectuals".
In other words, they are at heart natural conservatives, and it's just a matter of clearing up the economic issues and the tendency to believe in conspiracies. I really believe we may be nearing a tipping point where blacks will start abandoning the Democrat Party in large numbers. 15%? Forget it! I predict that in 30 years, the majority of blacks will be voting Republican.
This Man Was NOT a Democrat....
Been there, done that. Gonna do it again, no doubt.
Remember all those folks who claimed we needed a "big tent" that included the homosexuals and pro-abortion types? What we are now seeing are the benefits of holding the line against that! As the homosexual agenda continues to anger morally conservative blacks by attempting to tie their campaign for special rights to the fight for civil rights, the Republican Party stands to make huge gains.
"Will white Republicans vote for a black candidate?
If they are of good moral character, conservative, and can support his/her positions...why not!"
I can't speak for all communities, but when a black candidate gets on the Republicans ticket he or she is called an "Uncle Tom" or "a token". That's the true character of the all inclusive Dems coming into the fore.
How long before the "superconservatives" here at FR start denouncing the GOP reaching out to black voters as "pandering"???
It is only a matter of time before blacks around the country get a lesson in racism from the socialists. They've tolerated them so long as they voted for the Democrats.
I've no doubt that BrokawRatherJennings would describe him as a Democrat "in spirit!"
The fact is that the Demonrats have been sucessful in portraying themselves as the party historically in favor of civil rights in spite of the fact that this is purely a fiction. Good press can make anything true.
Yes, but the real question is: "What does Merle Black's twin brother think?"
There are not hardly any on FR who will consider this pandering. All that matters is what one stands for. All those who stand with us need be applauded. All those on the left...may they be made irrelevant. They could also move to Canada or France for all I care. (If we concentrated only on race, then I would be caught hating my own, as the majority of idiot liberals are white.). :)
There's many a freeper that everytime any article about conservative minorities is posted, will spew absolutely ridiculous charges of "racial pandering". As a minority conservative myself, I've argumented that these people are to blame for the Democrat gridlock on black and Hispanic votes.
Maybe you haven't seen them, but they abound in these here places.
That guy should be in the U.S. Senate, instead of that political drone Trent Lott.
He's carrying on his brother's legacy every day he steps foot out the door and confronts evil.
I welcome one and all to the Grand Old Party.
Because, "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste"
I have. I've voted for Alan Keyes in the past as well as Justice Robert Young(twice).
I could care less what the pigmentation of the individual is when I make my voting decision.
I've seen them. Screw'em.
Minnesota has had a few black Republicans run for office over the last 20 years and although none have won, I voted for them.
As for voting for a black Republican over a white Republican in a GOP primary, I'd say Yes...
...but only if the black Republican is as qualified and electable as the white Republican is.
Well if you find any specifics, please let me know, because I can't recall any (Of course I don't read every thread.)
A Herman Cain or a Vernon Robinson candidate has nothing to do with pandering. Their candidacies are not about their race. They are conservatives first with solid platforms and visable campaigns. Their race is one minor issue of many - like taxes, business, life, 2nd amendment, foreign policy, etc.
Those gold pinkie rings shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a lectern.
But Zab Judah of the Judah Brothers?(!)
That dude is not only a 'Golden Gloves' winner, he is that rare combination: A black Jewish man who can kick Oscar De La Hoya's ass!
How often do they come along?
"If they are of good moral character, conservative, and can support his/her positions...why not!"
Don't matter if the majority of blacks vote Dem. We only need to peel off a few percent of that majority to crush the Dems. Condi Rice should be good for a few %. Other black candidates, too.
In the 5th District in Michigan, which covers the cities of Flint and Bay City, and a portion of the City of Saginaw, Myrah Lynn Kirkwood, a black woman, is running for Congress against Dale Kildee, the whitest most ancient Democrat you will find this side of Carl Levin.
I heard Myrah talk at a recent Saginaw County Lincoln Day breakfast. She's wonderful. All of us are pulling for her to finally put Kildee out to pasture, but it won't be easy.
And she does look "winsome" to me....and I'm white!
Nooo! LOL! Really? Is this on the level?
On a serious note, if they want to crack the 92-95% D numbers in Detroit and 80-85% numbers in Flint and Southfield, they need to have people with strong credibility.
That means locals. This is really the key no matter what race or ethnicity or what location. In my state rep primary, the aggies voted for their own, Fowlerville voted for their homer - at the tune of about 70%+. Yoopers vote for their own overwhelmingly.
The key is to convince enough influential people(preachers and neighboorhood elders especially) that "Candidate X" is a good guy. It starts there to build foundations at the local level, and to create cracks in a dem base where eventually a Ronald Reagan candidate can shatter. Today the Catholic vote is not exclusively dem and is about 48/52.
It can be done, but it takes a lot of work and more than BS measures which can backfire.
Good luck to Myrah--being gorgeous can't hurt!
Someone has yet again preemptively posted a witty pun for which I cannot claim authorship!
I shall be avenged!
Rest assured, the day where my pithy comments rule the day shall come!
I've heard good things about Myrah from couple people I know in the district.
Robinson took the remark as a compliment.
You will never get older Blacks in this country to vote for anyone but the Democrat Party. They are so used to bowing to the masters of the Democrat Party that have kept them in economic bondage all these years. For goodness sakes, if it wasn't for the Republicans that voted for the Civil Rights Act, Blacks in the south would still be living under Jim Crow laws.
Younger Black are smarter, better educated, have good sense and see a world around them passing them by, not because of their color, but because, as a race, Blacks have not assimilated into general American society the same as other minority groups including latecomers, like Hispanics and Asians. Why? It was to the great political advantage of the Democrat Party to keep Blacks in their place, at the very bottom of the economic totem pole.
And....Blacks minus an enlightened leadership, followed the rantings of the Jesse Jackson's, etc. that told them "The Man, Whitey" was holding them back because they were Black! Fortunately a sea change is now under way, the outcome being that any Black, or for that matter anyone, can be all they want to be through hard work, study, strong determination and a desire to succeeed in a free society. There never was, nor will there ever be, any proof that Blacks are inferior to other races. That is just plain BS!!!
Unfortunately the Democrat Party has made a history of keeping blacks penned in by preaching racism and hate! Too bad, Black folk never really got it. However, the young Black turks are on the march, and that is good news for all blacks and more importantly, the USA! And...the Republican Party where they rightfully belong for both economic and cultural reasons! Wake up black folk and get with the program!
There was a democratic insider who was blown off by the establishment in a pivotal New York City Council race last year, who wound up running as a Republican.
Unfortunately, the seat-which had been filled by former NYPD officer James Davis-was carried by Letitia James, who pretty much wiped out whatever Democrat, Republican or Conservative Party opposition she had that election.
This guy-Tony Herbert-is a bit of gadfly and making another run this year; this time, for the state senate.
I seriously doubt that he'll emerge victorious, though stranger things have happened. Not many I'll grant you, but they have been known to occur from time to time.
I think most of the successful black Republican candidates run in districts that are solidly Republican and without a significant black population.