Black female politicians have made history in the state of Georgia. For the first time ever, not just in the state but the nation, five African-American women will be on a statewide ballot.
These candidates are: Doreen Carter for secretary of state, Liz Johnson for insurance commissioner, Robbin Shipp for labor commissioner, Connie Stokes for lieutenant governor and Valarie Wilson for school superintendent. So far, Wilson grabbed the Democratic nomination in a recent runoff against another black woman, Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan of Austell.
And a number of black women, including elected officials and community leaders, met to discuss the phenomenon, reports Online Athens.
“Never before in the history of Georgia or the nation has there been five African-American women on a ballot statewide,” said Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, D-Lithonia. “So, we did not want to miss the opportunity to get out and announce this to everyone in the state of Georgia and tell everyone how important this election will be in November.”
Shipp added: “I didn’t know when I qualified on March 7 that I was going to be making history. I was just trying to serve,” she said. “So joining these ladies, joining this slate from the top of the ticket to the bottom, I believe that we are presenting to the state of Georgia an opportunity to elect individuals who genuinely care about families, who genuinely care about our children.”
All of the candidates along with a group of elected officials will start a bus tour of the cities with a majority of registered black female voters beginning in August.
Still, there is a void of black women in politics across the nation. For a number of reasons including racism and sexism, black women are not elected as widely as other groups. Women in general lag behind men in politics. “A 2008 Brookings Institute study of more than 2,000 professionals, including layers, educators and executives, said 56 percent of men compared to 42 percent of women have considered running for office but men are nearly 35 percent more likely to think of themselves as potential political candidates,” reports Northwestern University.
But being a double minority hurts black female politicians, thus leading to their low numbers in office. This is major cause for concern as there is a danger that issues pertinent to black women will be left out of the mix.
Do you think this history-making election in Georgia will have a wider impact?
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