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GOP Is Fielding More Minorities, as Well as Women, for Office

4 years ago
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We've heard a lot this year about high-profile Republican women -- from Sarah Palin (not on any ballot, but virtually omnipresent), to Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman on the West Coast, to Christine O'Donnell and Linda McMahon on the East Coast. Much as been made about the Tea Party's influence, the role of religion, Palin's endorsement magic, the ability of women to raise (and spend) big money (with a debt of gratitude to both Palin and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton).

But there's a storyline we're overlooking this year: The diversity of the Republican field.

Overall, 14 African-Americans across the country are running as GOP nominees for Congress. As the Frederick Douglass Foundation has pointed out, if just three of them win, it would mark the first time since Reconstruction that more than two African-Americans from the Republican Party have served in Congress.


And, as the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics has reported, six Republican women are running for U.S. Senate seats, and 128 Republican women filed and ran in primaries for the House, with 47 winning and moving on to the general election.

Are these earth-shattering numbers? No. And I'm certainly not naïve: The GOP, as with the Washington establishment overall, is largely a white-male bastion. But, this year's slate of Republican candidates is perhaps the most diverse ever. And nationally, we're just not hearing much about some of these races.

Among the races that are getting ample attention is Nikki Haley's gubernatorial bid in South Carolina. Haley, an Indian-American, leads her opponent, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, by a substantial margin. But we should pay attention to other candidates as well. I draw your attention to two women in particular:
  • In New Mexico, Republican Susana Martinez, a district attorney, faces Lt. Gov. Diane Denish for the governorship. This is only the third time in U.S. history that two women are campaigning for the top job in a state. (It's also happening in Oklahoma, where Congresswoman Mary Fallin is leading Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in the governor's race.) In New Mexico, the campaign is tight, with competing polls showing Martinez ahead or locked in a dead-heat
  • Jaime Herrera, a 31-year-old state representative, is running for Congress in Washington's 3rd District. She's also locked a close race, with recent polls showing her slightly ahead or statistically tied with her opponent, Democrat Denny Heck.
These are two races to watch -- not just because they include dynamic, Hispanic women with a real shot at victory, but because they (and others) offer a glimpse of what the future might hold for a more diverse, more inclusive GOP. Or so we hope.

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19 Comments

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raulcorinne

As a American of Mexican parents. I think this is great.It was the blacks who helped all of us with civil rights.I believe blacks can help lead this country back on the right course. Back to biblical principles + away from communism. Abe Lincoln was a republican .

October 01 2010 at 9:47 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to raulcorinne's comment
monseigneurdev

Abe Lincoln is the father of the Republican party but a lot has changed since then.

October 02 2010 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KarmaCzar

I'll believe the Repubs are becoming tolerant of minorities when they run a black, atheist, openly gay, armed services officer who is married to her lover....

October 01 2010 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KarmaCzar's comment
Jacquie

You forgot that she must be a member of code pink & greenpeace a pro-abortion, marxist, smartcar driving, smoker......

October 01 2010 at 9:40 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Window dressing and fluff from the Tax and Spend Party of No,formerly the Republican Party, lead by John Boehner.

October 01 2010 at 8:58 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tom's comment
teaforme1234

Republicans the party of Yes to what the people want and no to what the democrats want. I hate to break the news to you but the tax and spend people are the Democrats. The Dems spent more in 1 year than the entire Bush years. Most of the spending at the end of the Bush time in office came from the Democratics. Three Cheers for the talented REpublican women that are running for office.

October 01 2010 at 9:20 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Teaforme1234-You seem to have forgotten that it was the Republicans, whose failed economic and foreign policies got us in this mess we are in.

October 01 2010 at 9:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jennifer

And Jennifer Carroll a Republican, African-American Woman is running for LT GOV of Florida. I knew her when she was in the navy and she always treats everybody with kindness and respect. She has my vote!!!!

October 01 2010 at 8:58 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jennifer's comment
Dan

She is running on the ticket with a man(Scott) whose company defrauded the US government of millions of dollars.

October 01 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Norina

"it would mark the first time since Reconstruction that more than two African-Americans from the Republican Party have served in Congress." Does it count as a real win if they then are relegated to "token" status and expected to betray the interests of their group? Does anyone remember how Palin said she was a feminist before the GOP made her retract it and now preaches how women should make less than men for the same work? Yeah....

October 01 2010 at 8:50 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
georush

Wow! What insight from a former Bushie: a statistically insignificant number of woman and men are running for office for the GOP and it's the second coming of the Civil Rights movement? Ha! May I suggest a new slogan for this multicultural, ethnically diverse GOP: Republicans: Some of Our Friends are Best Friends are Black!

October 01 2010 at 8:35 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
Donna

I think all republicans need to focus on being a true american, and that means equality to all, not just the chosen few. and if money is all you want, then leave america and go do buisness elsewhere!you all talk the talk, but dont really have the right plan. corporations are your motto. I am middle class, but because of you, I am lowest middle class !

October 01 2010 at 8:28 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Helen

Can't get an abortion if you are raped or there is incest in the family which is usually rape also. That is what the Republican party wants to do to women. Why would any women vote Republican

October 01 2010 at 8:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
lerwilhelm

the tone of this article is disgusting, and insulting to GOP women and minorities. It is well know that Democratic policy has always been to paint the GOP anti minority and anti woman. The newsmedia and this writer went in lock step with the Democratic ploy to get those votes. Now the media is all confused. GOP women and minorities have decided to quit taking the psychological abuse thrust on them by Democrats and the media, and step forward. Just because you are a minority doesn't make you Maxine Walters or Rangel, two big Dem minority leaders.

October 01 2010 at 2:02 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
Gloria Darian

I'm doing something, during this election year, that I have never done before! Every time I see and hear a Black candidate on Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and on Governor Huckabee's program...."quick like a bunny" I write their name down, and their web-site, and send in sometype of financial contribution! I've been giving the same consideration to some of the fabulous women running for Senator, Governor and for Congressional seats in their States! I am also so impressed with Hispanic races, especially Rubio, in Florida....we may be looking into the face of a future President! I am 77 years old, a retired Jewish lady, from Brooklyn, New York....and never have I been more hopeful for the Conservative-Patriotic movement in America, that I can feel "in these old bones!" If Republican-Conservative value's prevail.....there will be hope for a Great and Proud America again!

October 01 2010 at 12:00 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gloria Darian's comment
Norina

The GOP--great and proud if you are rich and white!

October 01 2010 at 8:52 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

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