Democrats Hold Key in Electing 2 Black Women to Senate for the  First Time in U.S. History

by Xara Aziz
Left: Office of Rep. Blunt Rochester/Right: Office of Angela Alsobrooks

Carol Moseley Braun, who represents only one of two Black women to have ever been elected to the Senate in U.S. history was in shock when Jonathan Weisman with The New York Times informed her that another Black woman had won the Democratic nomination for an open Senate seat in Maryland.

“Praise the Lord,” she told the publication. “That’s wonderful.”

Angela Alsobrooks’ win in Tuesday’s primary means voters will have the chance to double the number of Black women ever elected to the Senate, according to The New York Times.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester also has a nice chance of winning her party’s nomination for an open Senate seat in Delaware, a state with a huge Democratic base. If both Alsobrooks and Blunt Rochester win in November, that would make two Black women serving in the Senate at the same time.

With Ms. Alsobrooks’s come-from-behind victory in Tuesday’s primary, voters in November will most likely have the chance to double the number of Black women ever elected to the Senate. Another Democrat, Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, is the odds-on favorite to win her party’s nomination in September for an open Senate seat in heavily Democratic Delaware. If both win in November, for the first time, two Black women will serve in Congress’s upper chamber at the same time.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Moseley Braun, who served as the first Black woman senator in 1992. The second Black woman, to hold the position is Kamala Harris, who currently serves as the 49th vice president of the United States.

“For years, the national Democratic Party has faced criticism that it has declined to back Black women to the hilt, either in primaries or general elections, when they have run for statewide offices,” the publication reads. “Representative Barbara Lee, a seasoned political veteran and an antiwar icon, received barely a glance from the party apparatus this year when she ran for an open Senate seat in California.”

It continues: “Out of 75 Black women who have run or are running for the Senate since 2010, 10 have secured major-party nominations, including Ms. Alsobrooks and Valerie McCray, who is running a long-shot campaign in Indiana this fall. No Black woman has ever been elected governor, and out of the 28 who have run for the position since 2010, only four have become major-party nominees, according to data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. All of the nominees have been Democrats.”

Alsobrooks currently serves as the county executive of Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington, D.C. located in Maryland. Her opponent, Rep. David Trone, has deep pockets as the owner of Total Wine & More, but Alsobrooks has the backing of big names, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

“Where we are is a realization of how valuable Black women — and women in general — are to the Democratic Party,” said Yvette Lewis who serves as an advisor on Alsobrooks’ campaign. “We are the backbone of the party. We are the consistent voters.”

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