Record Number of Black Candidates Seeking History During Midterm Elections

Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire

While some already are household names like Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Val Demings in Florida, and Anthony Brown in Maryland, others like Natalie James in Arkansas, Will Boyd in Alabama, and Stephanie Thomas in Connecticut, are upstarts.

All are among the approximately two dozen Black candidates seeking public office.
In some cases, a victory would make the individual the first African American to hold the top elected office in their state.

Here’s a breakdown of the candidates and the offices they’re running for in each state.
Democrat Natalie James seeks to unseat Republican John Boozman in the U.S. Senate race out of Arkansas.

A James victory would make her the first Black congress member from Arkansas. The so-called “Natural State” also would house its first Black governor if Democrat Chris Jones defeats Republican Sarah Sanders, the former White House Press Secretary under Donald Trump.

In Alabama, Democrat Yolanda Flowers has run a relentless campaign for governor against GOP incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey.

Flowers already counts as the first Black woman to win a major party nomination for governor in Alabama.

A Nov. 8 victory would make her the first Black woman governor in the Cotton State.
Meanwhile, Democrat Will Boyd is seeking the U.S. Senate seat out of Alabama, making him the first Black person in state history to hold that office. Boyd faces off against Republican Katie Britt.
In California, Republican Angela Jacobs seeks to unseat Eleni Kounalakis as the state’s lieutenant governor. Jacobs would be the first Black woman to hold that office.

In Connecticut, Democrat Stephanie Thomas faces off against Republican Dominic Rapini in the race for secretary of state. Thomas would be the first Black woman to hold that seat.
In Florida, Democratic Rep. Val Demings faces Republican Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate. With a victory, Demings, Orlando’s first woman police chief, would be the first Black person to represent the Sunshine State in the U.S. Senate.

Also in Florida, Aramis Ayala is running against incumbent Republican Ashley Moody in the state attorney general’s race. A win would make Ayala Florida’s first Black attorney general.
In Georgia, Abrams continues to fight an uphill battle in her rematch with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Abrams again attempts to become the first Black woman to govern the Peach State.
In Iowa, Deidre DeJear, a Democrat, is trying to become the first Black woman governor in her race against incumbent Republican Kim Reynolds.

Charles Booker, a Kentucky Democrat, is trying to upset incumbent Republican Rand Paul for the state’s U.S. Senate seat.

In Louisiana, Gary Chambers, a Democrat, is viewed as a longshot against incumbent Republican John Kennedy in the race for the Senate. Chambers would become the first African American to represent Louisiana in the U.S. Senate.

In Maryland, Wes Moore seeks to become the state’s first Black governor. The Democrat faces off against Republican Dan Cox.

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown is running to become Maryland’s first Black attorney general. Republican Michael Peroutka is his opponent.

Former Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell, a Democrat, has her sights on Massachusetts’ attorney general’s office. Campbell would become the first Black woman to hold that seat in the state if she defeats Republican Jay McMahon.

Republican Rayla Campbell, no relation to Andrea, is seeking to unseat Democrat William Galvin to become the first Black woman to hold that office.

In North Carolina, Democrat Cheri Beasley squares off against Republican Ted Budd for the U.S. Senate seat. Beasley is attempting to become the first Black woman in state history to win the election to that chamber.

New York Republican Joe Pinion, a Black man, is running against longtime Democrat incumbent Chuck Schumer in the race for U.S. Senate.

New York has never had a Black senator.

In Ohio, Democrat Chelsea Clark faces Republican Frank LaRose in the race for secretary of state. Ohio has never had a Black woman in that role.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania has never had a Black lieutenant governor, something Democrat Austin Davis hopes to accomplish in his race against Republican Carrie DelRosso.
In South Carolina, Democrat Krystle Matthews, a Black woman, faces incumbent Tim Scott for the U.S. Senate seat.

A Black woman has never represented South Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

Mandela Barnes is attempting to become the first Black senator out of Wisconsin. Barnes, a Democrat, faces GOP Sen. Ron Johnson.