For mi­nor­ity can­di­dates, some heart­break, suc­cess

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - NATION / STATE - The Wash­ing­ton Post

Sup­port­ers cheer for An­drew Gil­lum, who lost a tight race for gov­er­nor of Florida to Repub­li­can Ron Desan­tis.

The na­tion’s two most prom­i­nent ris­ing black po­lit­i­cal stars – vy­ing to make his­tory in Ge­or­gia’s and Florida’s gu­ber­na­to­rial races - ap­peared to both fall short Tues­day night in dis­heart­en­ing losses to Democrats and mi­nor­ity ac­tivists.

Tal­la­has­see Mayor An­drew Gil­lum was de­feated in his bid to be­come the first African-amer­i­can gov­er­nor of Florida, with elec­tion re­sults show­ing him barely out­edged by Repub­li­can for­mer con­gress­man Ron Desan­tis.

In Ge­or­gia, for­mer state leg­is­la­tor Stacey Abrams at­tempt­ing to be­come the coun­try’s first black fe­male gov­er­nor – trailed in the late-night elec­tion tally against Repub­li­can Sec­re­tary of State Brian Kemp.

On a night when black and mi­nor­ity can­di­dates had been poised to break long-stand­ing bar­ri­ers, the dou­ble dis­ap­point­ments came de­spite mas­sive fundrais­ing ef­forts, na­tional at­ten­tion and a pa­rade of black lead­ers and celebri­ties stump­ing on their be­half.

The Gil­lum and Abrams races also drew bla­tant racial at­tacks rarely seen since the civil rights era of the 1960s. And GOP of­fi­cials in sev­eral states, in­clud­ing Ge­or­gia, tried to im­pose re­stric­tions on vot­ers that some vot­ing rights ad­vo­cates said harked back to sup­pres­sion tac­tics against blacks in the Jim Crow South.

Other mi­nor­ity can­di­dates, how­ever, did claim his­toric out­comes.

Sharice Davids in Kansas and De­bra Haa­land in New Mex­ico both won their bids to be­come the first Na­tive Amer­i­can fe­male mem­bers of Congress. Min­nesota’s Il­han Omar and Michi­gan’s Rashida Tlaib will head to Wash­ing­ton as the first Mus­lim women in Congress. In Mas­sachusetts, Ayanna Press­ley faced no GOP op­po­nent and was elected her state’s first black con­gress­woman.

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