Artur Davis

Black Politicians: Failure To Reach Higher Office A Reality :(

With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, it seemed as if America was ready for a Renaissance on race, that black politicians could expect to reach the Governorships and the Senate in noticeable numbers!

When it comes to the House of Representatives and the mayoralty of cities, African Americans have been able to make a substantial record of success! With 42 members in the House of Representatives, and many African Americans who have served and are serving as Mayors of their cities, there is much to be proud of!

But when it comes to Governorships and Senate seats, the record is paltry! 🙁

There have historically been only three Black Governors and six Black Senators. Douglas Wilder was Governor of Virginia in the 1980s, and Deval Patrick is presently the Governor of Massachusetts. David Paterson succeeded Eliot Spitzer as Governor of New York when Spitzer resigned in 2008.

Hiram Revels served one year in the Senate from Mississippi during the Reconstruction period, as did Blanche Bruce for a full term from the same state in the same era. They were, of course, not elected, as the 17th Amendment, providing for direct popular election of the Senate, did not become part of the Constitution until 1913.

Since then, Edward W. Brooke served two terms as a Massachusetts Senator from 1967-1979. Carol Moseley Braun served one term from 1993-1999 as Senator from Illinois, so far the only Black woman in the Senate. Barack Obama, of course served four years from 2005-2009 from Illinois, and finally, Roland Burris was appointed to fill out the term of Obama in 2009-2010.

Meanwhile, the news recently has not been encouraging on the issue of Blacks at the top level of government, state and national! Roland Burris has been under suspicion since his appointment by disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich and is not running for a full term. David Paterson is also under attack and is not running for a full term as NY Governor. Deval Patrick has been running behind for reelection in Massachusetts, but seems now to be recovering.

Unfortunately, Artur Davis, Congressman from Alabama, gave up his Congressional seat to run for the Democratic nomination for Governor, and was expected to win, but in a tremendous upset, his opponent won overwhelmingly in the primary, by 62-38 percent!

And Kendrick Meek, Congressman from South Florida, was thought to be the Democratic nominee for the US Senate by default, until billionaire Jeff Greene suddenly entered the race on April 30, and has pulled even with Meek.

Even more problematical for Meek is that he runs a poor third against Republican Marco Rubio and Independent nominee Charlie Crist, the Governor of Florida. Crist is appealing for Democratic backing in the race, and is a threat to Meek in gaining backing of a majority of his own party in the Fall campaign, even if Meek defeats Greene in the primary in August!

So there is a good chance that there will be no Blacks in the Senate, and at most, maybe just Governor Deval Patrick winning a second term in Massachusetts!

This is not exactly what many African Americans hoped for just a short time ago! 🙁