The place where President Barack Obama first gained attention as a politician will no longer have black representation for the next term. Yesterday’s midterm elections have resulted in a Senate without a single African American holding a seat.
There is one African-American in the current Senate: Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, who was appointed to fill out the rest of Barack Obama’s term after he was elected president.
In the new Senate there will be zero.
All three African-American candidates in this year’s election lost their races: Florida’s Kendrick Meek to Marco Rubio, Georgia’s Michael Thurmond to Johnny Isakson and South Carolina’s Alvin Greene to Jim DeMint. (All three are Democrats.) Burris is retiring, and Republican Mark Kirk will replace him.
Six African-Americans have served in the Senate. Along with Burris and Mr. Obama, they are (in reverse chronological order) Carol Moseley Braun (also of Illinois), Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, and Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels of Mississippi.
African-Americans are better represented in the House, where there are currently 41 black members.
While there were a record number of women running for Senate this year, at least half of those races were lost.
Poor Nancy Pelosi has also lost her Speaker of the House position to Republican John Boehner.
On a more positive note, Alabama elected it’s first African American woman to the House of Representatives — Terry Sewell and South Carolina and New Mexico Republicans Nikki Haley and Susana Martinez have been elected the first women of color to serve as Governors in U.S. history. Haley is also her state’s first female governor.
Sounds like our country still has a long way to go.
We had a pretty good idea that this election might be an ugly one.
Why do you think African Americans have historically had a more difficult time being elected to Senate? Does this mean that we can forget about universal health care??? Who actually thinks all these newly elected Republicans will help improve the economy? What role do you think “Obamacare” played in all the Republican victories?
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