By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
There are many Black candidates running statewide across the U.S. this year in primaries and in general election contests. The year of 2022 will prove to be a major test of the electability of Black statewide candidates as issues around voting rights and justice reform, confront the steady emergence of white supremacy in U.S. politics.
With inflation becoming a bigger issue and the aftermath of COVID-19 many candidates will be running against strong headwinds.
Florida Congresswoman and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, 65, is running for the U.S. Senate against Republican Marco Rubio, 51.
In North Carolina, former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, 56, is running for the U.S. Senate against Republican Ted Budd, 50, after the seat remained open because of the retirement of Sen. Richard Burr.
In Louisiana, Gary Chambers, 36, will take on the incumbent U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) in Louisiana’s open primary on November 8. Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system and all candidates must compete in the same primary. A candidate can win the election outright by earning over 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate wins over 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party.
In Kentucky, former Kentucky House of Representatives member Charles Booker, 38, will attempt to defeat U.S. Senator Rand Paul, 59, in November. In Wisconsin, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, 35, is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Ron Johnson. In Arkansas, Democrat Chris Jones, former executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, is running against former Trump White House spokesperson Sara Huckabee Sanders for Governor as current Governor Asa Hutchinson leaves office because of term limits.
Author and U.S. Army veteran Wes Moore, 43, is running in a crowded ten candidate primary for Governor of Maryland. The primary includes strong competition from former DNC Chair and DOJ Official Tom Perez, who was recently endorsed by The Washington Post.
In a re-match of the 2018 race for Governor of Georgia, which many argue came down to ballot access, Stacey Abrams, 48, will once again challenge Governor Brian Kemp, 58, for control of the mansion in Georgia. Abrams lost by 54,723 votes in 2018. Since then, her strategy of focusing on getting base voters to the polls, instead of attempting to convert ‘moderates” and Republicans, has been proven effective in many races across the U.S. — including President Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia as he went on to win the presidency.
Also, in Georgia, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, 52, will challenge former NFL running back Hershel Walker. Warnock was elected to the U.S. Senate on January 5, 2021 as he defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler in a special election runoff, by 93,272 votes.
In New York, former Congressman Antonio Delgado, 45, will serve as Lt. Governor of New York and be on the ballot for November after the resignation of former Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin.
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