Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's a Black Thing

Republicans believe in treating everyone equally. The best person should be hired for the job, regardless of color, even if that means hiring 5 African-Americans or no African-Americans.

As a result, Democrats have won an overwhelming share of the African-American vote for the last 40 years, with Republicans resigned to only getting a small percentage of the votes. There have been a few African-American Republican congressmen, notably J.C. Watts and Gary Franks, in congress. Of course, Colin Powell, Michael Steele, Condaleeza Rice, and Clarence Thomas have had even more prominent governmental roles. The GOP hasn't really bothered to reach out.

This year there are 11 Black Republican candidates for the House of Representatives. African-American majority districts elect Democrats. The Black candidates Republicans have run in the past have just been fodder for the Democrats.This year, Republicans are running 6 Black candidates in majority minority districts.

It's the other 5 that I want to note. Tim Scott is running in a district that's 21% Black. Yet it's so Republican that Scott is considered a lock for the seat. Allen West and Ryan Frazier are in very competitive races in districts with few Blacks. Since Blacks vote heavily Democratic, that might be why they have good shots.

Bill Randall and Charles Lollar are running in more Democratic districts, but not ones that are so heavily Democratic that a Republican couldn't win. Even though both have raised a decent amount of money, neither has registered on the national radar. Randall is running a district that's 27% Black, while Lollar is running in one where Blacks are 30% of the population. Both are running against white opponents. Lollar is running against House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. He, of course, has great clout, but this is a year when having great clout might not be such an asset. I don't expect either candidate to win, but I'm interested in seeing how well they do with the Black community. Can a Black Republican win a decent share of Black voters this year? Or will they get the same 8-12% most Republicans do?

Regardless, there'll be at least one Black Republican in congress next year. Maybe more. Of course, as Republicans, we don't care about the color of a candidate's skin, only if he's the best man for the job. If we celebrate Black Republicans getting elected aren't we hypocrites?

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