African American Governors

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Must Resign, And Gives America An African American Successor, Justin Fairfax

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been exposed as having participated in the posting of a photogragh in his medical school yearbook in 1984, in which he is posing with another student, one wearing black face, and the other in a Ku Klux Klan robe and mask, leading to demands for his resignation.

This whole situation is sad, as Northam was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in November 2017, after serving as Lieutenant Governor, being in the state legislature, having had a medical career, and given eight years to the Army Medical Corp.

Northam was seen as a moderate left Governor, and seemed to be a decent man who would serve the one term allowed Virginia Governors, with no ability to be reelected, due to constitutional bars for a second consecutive term.

But the situation requires immediate resignation, as Northam has lost the confidence of the Virginia voters, and cannot use the excuse of “a youthful indiscretion”, since he was 25 years old at the time of the yearbook photo in 1984.

Certainly, Northam has worked to promote racial reconciliation after the despicable Charlottesville riot in 2017, while he was running for the Governorship, and himself, attended a desegregated high school where the majority of students were African Americans.

No one is saying he is an open racist now, and yet we have an open racist in President Donald Trump, who said both sides in Charlottesville contained decent people, an outrage in trying to call Ku Klux Klan white supremacists as having equality with those protesting racial inequities.

Truthfully, while Ralph Northam needs to resign, Donald Trump, for his long and consistent racism, nativism, misogyny, and praise of white supremacists should also resign, but we cannot be that lucky, unfortunately.

When Republicans are accused of inappropriate behavior, they always manage to move past it and stay in office, while Democrats are always in a position to be forced out, as with Al Franken on the accusations, never fully investigated, of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct with women.

The only good result of Northam’s eventual resignation is that Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, an African American, who graduated Duke University and Columbia University Law School, and is seen as the future of the Democratic Party, as he will turn age 40 on February 17, would succeed Northam as Governor. He would be the second African American governor of the state, after Douglas Wilder, and the fourth African American governor in modern times.

He worked in several Democratic Presidential campaigns, and was a “body man” for Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards in the Presidential campaign of 2004. He also worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a law clerk for a federal judge, and also as a prosecutor.

While Virginia only allows one term for Governor, a succession by Fairfax would not eliminate the possibility of an elected term in 2021, so Fairfax could be Governor of Virginia for nearly seven years. That would make him an historic figure, and give him the opportunity to become a national fiture, and potentially a future Democratic contender for the Presidency in 2024 or 2028.

Only one former Governor, Mills Godwin, was able to serve two nonconsecutive terms as Governor of Virginia, as a Democrat from 1966-1970 and as a Republican from 1974-1978.

A “Dream List” To Elect: Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Richard Cordray, Gavin Newsom

As we near the Midterm Elections of 2018 on Tuesday, this blogger and author has a “dream list” that he would wish and hope would be elected to office.

One is competing for the US Senate–Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, trying to defeat Senator Ted Cruz. O’Rourke has become a true “rock star”, often compared in face and charisma to Robert F. Kennedy, who he is not related to, but O’Rourke has inspired many people, and has a following, particularly, among millennials. Many see him as a future Presidential contender, whether he wins or loses next week, and some see him as a contender for 2020, absolutely amazing.

Four others are competing for governors of their states.

Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams are both African Americans, inspiring many people of all age groups, as they compete to become Governors of Florida and Georgia, and if they both win, it will be truly historic. Both are well spoken and charismatic, and Gillum reminds many of Barack Obama. Gillum has been Mayor of Tallahassee, the state capitol, and Abrams has been the Democratic minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011-2017.

Richard Cordray is running for Ohio Governor, and was the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Barack Obama, and a five time “Jeopardy’ winner, and would really be a plus for Ohio’s future if he was elected. He was also Attorney General, Treasurer, and Solicitor General of Ohio over a long storied career, and some see him as a future potential Presidential contender.

Gavin Newsom is assured of victory for California Governor, and as San Francisco Mayor, was the first public official to marry gay couples in 2004, and has served as Lieutenant Governor for the past eight years. He drips with charisma, and is also seen as a potential future Presidential contender.

The Possibility Of Two African American Governors In Neighboring Southern States–Florida (Andrew Gillum), Georgia (Stacey Abrams)

The possibility is growing, with one week to the midterm elections of 2018, that we may be witnessing an event no one would have thought possible at any point in American politics.

That would be the election of two African American Governors in the South, but that now seems more likely than before.

Florida is on the verge of electing Andrew Gillum its first male African American Governor, and Georgia is on the verge of electing Stacey Abrams its first, and the nation’s first, female African American Governor.

The more likely choice to win is Gillum, since Abrams’ opponent in Georgia, Brian Kemp, is the state’s Secretary of State, and has the ability to control the voting rolls, and has rejected adding 70,000 voters, most of them African American, to the voting rolls for no good reason.

Former President Jimmy Carter has asked that Kemp do the right thing and resign as Secretary of State, as he would be giving up that job after the election whether he wins or loses the Governorship, but Kemp has refused.

That election could have a second round runoff as in Georgia, one is required to win a majority of all votes cast, and there is a third independent candidate on the ballot, which may prevent any candidate from reaching 50 percent plus one.

In Florida, Ron DeSantis, the Republican opponent of Gillum, is running a nasty and racist race, making him look even more evil than outgoing Governor Rick Scott, who is trying to win the Senate seat of Bill Nelson.

It will be down to the wire in both races, and in the Florida Senate race, and hopefully, the Democrats will manage to win all three, but it is hard to be totally confident at this point.