By Lucius Gantt
Congratulations to the two African American candidates for Governor that won Democratic Primary elections in Georgia and in Florida!
I pray their efforts to become Governors will result in good government and widespread satisfaction of each and every citizen they seek to represent.
I don’t know Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams, the first black female major party gubernatorial nominee in the United States.
But I do know Tallahassee, Florida Mayor Andrew Gillum, who upset a former member of the US Congress, a former South Florida big city Mayor and a billionaire, to take the Florida Democratic Primary for Governor.
I also know that in the nation’s 2018 political primary elections, as in every other United States election, white voters are divided.
Abrams and Gillum both cruised to victory behind the energetic and enthusiastic votes cast by Blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, students and working-class people. In Gillum’s case, I wonder what the end would have been if Gillum only had to face one white challenger instead of three.
And, they both got huge political and financial support from wealthy PACs, rich political donors and influential politicians like US Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Both candidates’ primary success suggests that Blacks will turn out in even higher numbers than they did in the primaries, as Black independents with no party affiliations are expected to “vote Black” in November!
Yes, the Black candidates for Governor are just as qualified for public service as any other candidates.
However, if you look at campaign finance records, the two Blacks running for Governor in Georgia and Florida seem to agree that there are no Blacks qualified to hold highly paid or decision-making positions in either campaign.
A rudimentary glance at campaign spending reports show little or no spending with Black media, black printers, Black pollsters, Black advertising agencies, Black professional consultants and the like.
Both Abrams and Gillum had millions to hire people and allocate dollars in their Primary races but finding Blacks with high paying campaign jobs, to them, was like trying to find a needle in a hay stack!
If you don’t know, million dollar and other big campaign contributors expect candidates to give them prime access, at least, and control of a candidate’s government proposals, at most.
I wish both candidates well in their quest to make political history in the South and in the country.
If they ask me, I will help them because they need assistance from staff and consultants that they can trust.
If they don’t ask, best wishes!
Well, Governors get to appoint a lot of people to high state government positions. Governors are over state offices of management and budgets, they can appoint state judges, they can impact jails and correctional facilities, they can fund, or not fund, affordable health care programs, they are over state lotteries and many other state agencies where they can hire, fire and dole out contracts in state purchasing transactions.
In November, we not only have to elect the right candidates, we must demand that they do the right things once elected in office.
Both Stacey and Andrew will be attacked viciously before November about non-payment of bills and taxes, about City Hall investigations, about activists, about socialists, about Zionists and much more.
Becoming Black Governors is harder than they think, but perhaps Abrams and Gillum can make it happen via “Two the Hard Way”!