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(The Washington Post) — Eighteen months after Barack Obama‘s presidential win seemed to usher in a new era in racial politics, a different reality has emerged: Black candidates in races around the country are struggling so much that the number of African Americans in major statewide offices is likely to drop from the already paltry three. And the possibility exists that there will be no black governors or senators by next year. The drubbing Tuesday of Rep. Artur Davis (D), who was running to be the first black governor of Alabama, was the latest in a series of defeats of black politicians in primaries this year for statewide office. And some of the blacks who already hold such posts aren’t staying in them. Of the nation’s two black governors, New York’s David Paterson, plagued by ethics scandals, opted not to run this fall — the same decision made by the only black senator, Roland Burris (D-Ill.).

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