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Posts Tagged ‘Stennis Center’

A New Season

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

Last week I was very fortunate to attend the Stennis Center’s Southern Women in Public Service Conference. Women from all walks of public life–appointed and elected–shared their experiences; and shared their views on why more women are not running for public office. Many of these leaders identified that in order to have more women, you must actively recruit more women, young women and mentor them once they are ready to run for a position. Likewise for African Americans and the Republican Party. The Republican Party are now identifiying viable candidates and mentoring them; and now some 32 African Americans are running for Congress, the most since Reconstruction.

According to the New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer “now black Republicans are running across the country — from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.” Oddly enough, many of the candidates were inspired by President Obama’s race to the White House. But for many, the rise of the African American Republican candidiate is temporary. Tavis Smiley has been very vocal in criticizing the Republican Party for not recruiting and mentoring potential African American candidates and voters. “It’s worth remembering that the last time it was declared the ‘Year of the Black Republican,’ it fizzled out.”

Of the new season of candidates, former house Republican speaker Newt Gingrich says “things have evolved. I think partly the level of hostility to Obama, Pelosi and Reid makes a lot of people pragmatically more open to a coalition from the standpoint of being a long-term majority party.”

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