There have been 11 African American Senators in the 234 years of US Senate history.
Presently, there are three—Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina; and Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Raphael Warnock of Georgia.
Prominent earlier African American Senators included Democrats Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama of Illinois; Democrat Kamala Harris of California; and Republican Edward Brooke of Massachusetts.
Now, there is the possibility of four additional African American Senators, if fortune works out.
They include: Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin; Cheri Beasley in North Carolina; Charles Booker in Kentucky; and Val Demings of Florida.
Barnes is competing against Ron Johnson in Wisconsin; Beasley againast Ted Budd in North Carolina; Booker against Rand Paul in Kentucky; and Demings against Marco Rubio in Florida.
All of these races are tight in polls, except Booker against Paul in Kentucky, where Booker is at a major disadvantage.
Also, Warnock is in a tight race against Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia, with both being African Americans.
The potential now exists for the Democrats to gain multiple Senate seats in the Midterm Elections of 2022!
With six Republicans Senators retiring, at least three of those seats could go to the Democrats, along with three Republican Senators running for reelection having troubles in their reelection campaigns.
Pennsylvania with John Fetterman; Ohio with Tim Ryan; and North Carolina with Cheri Beasley, all have a good shot to win what have been Republican seats.
Additionally, Florida with Val Demings and Wisconsin with Mandela Barnes could see the defeat of Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson. And the longest serving Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley, running at age 89 for another six year term, also has a tough race from retired Admiral Michael Franken that should not be ignored.
Four Democratic Senators have major challenges to keep their seats—Mark Kelly in Arizona; Raphael Warnock in Georgia; Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada; and Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire.
Also, Mike Lee in Utah has a strong independent, Evan McMullin, trying to defeat this loyal Trumpite, and Democrats are backing him.
Rand Paul in Kentucky has a strong African American opponent in Democrat Charles Booker, and the defeat of Paul would be welcome, but unexpected.
In Missouri, Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine will try to stop Republican Eric Schmitt, another tough race without an incumbent, but Schmitt favored to win.
The possibility of up to a 4-5 seat gain for Democrats is in the cards, if the present trend in polls continues!
The potential exists for the US Senate in the 118th Congress to have more African American members than ever before.
Altogether, there have been eleven African American Senators in American history, with three serving for the first time in 2017 when Kamala Harris joined the Senate, adding to Tim Scott and Cory Booker.
Raphael Warnock became the third serving at the same time, replacing Harris, who became Vice President in 2021!
Now, with Scott and Booker in the Senate, and Warnock running for reelection against another African American, former football player Herschel Walker, at least three African Americans will serve in the next Congress.
But there are others who are running for election to the Senate, including:
Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida against Senator Marco Rubio
Charles Booker of Kentucky against Senator Rand Paul
Cheri Beasley of North Carolina against Congressman Ted Budd
Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin against Senator Ron Johnson
So there could, in theory, be SEVEN African American Senators in the 118th Congress, if fortune worked out!
Two key Republican Senators who are targets to be defeated in November’s Midterm Elections are:
Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
Marco Rubio of Florida
Both have served 12 years in the Senate, and both have horrendous records, but the battle to retire them will not be easy.
Johnson defeated twice the outstanding Democratic Senator, Russ Feingold, a major tragedy, and he has been a “loose cannon’ and a total Trump supporter, including refusal to reject the “Big Lie” that Trump won the election, and to acknowledge Joe Biden as President.
His most likely opponent is Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who is African American, 35 years old, and would be a refreshing addition as a progressive reformer to the US Senate.
Rubio has demonstrated that he is ultimately interested in running again for the Presidency as he did in 2016, making clear he does not appreciate being a Senator, and seeing it only as a stepping stone. After saying he would not run again in 2016 for his Senate seat, he changed his mind and ran and won again. But he has shown lack of courage and conviction and his willingness to kowtow to Donald Trump, who insulted him immensely, but now he continues to back the former President and his “Big Lie”.
His opponent will be Congresswoman Val Demings, who is African American, 65 years old, with a long career in law enforcement, and head of the Orlando, Florida Police Department, before serving in a Central Florida Congressional seat since 2017. She has been inspirational as a speaker and advocate for progressive reform.