New Orleans We have a sign up for Adrian Perkins in the grass strip between our fence and our street in New Orleans. We have a sign up along a piece of ground right across the Pearl River in Mississippi for Mike Espy. Both are running for seats in the US Senate. We have signs up for Biden-Harris, wherever we pay property taxes. The only direct donation I’ve made is to Joyce Elliot, running for the Congressional seat in the Arkansas Second District that includes Little Rock. All three are African-Americans. It’s time!
Espy, a former Agriculture Secretary in the Clinton administration and Mississippi Delta congressman, is running neck-and-neck with the two-year Senate incumbent who beat him narrowly at that time. He could win, and even losing, it will likely be closer than the last round. Perkins is the young mayor of Shreveport and an engaging candidate with a bright future. He’s a long shot against Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, but he embarrassed Cassidy, a former doctor, in a debate by advocating for the Affordable Care Act which has provided health care to hundreds of thousands in Louisiana, while Cassidy tried calling in Obamacare and argued for nothing. Joyce Elliot has been a legislative champion for ACORN and Local 100 in both houses of the Arkansas body. My often Trump apologist brother-in-law surprised me the other day by claiming in the pre-dawn that Elliot was going to beat French Hill, the Republican incumbent in that race. I haven’t seen the polls, but that would be a wonder.
They aren’t alone. Jamie Harrison in South Carolina has collected record sums for his campaign for the Senate there against Lindsay Graham. African-Americans have come within inches of winning races for governor in both Georgia and Florida in recent years. It’s time!
These are candidates that absolutely could win this November, although some or none of them may win. It may be too little too late, as middle-of-the-road Democratic national leadership tended to favor Doug Jones and John Bell Edwards, moderate candidates more than leaders from the heart of the Black base. These office holders often had questionable positions on guns and women’s rights.
In these new times in the wake of Trump, white supremacy and militia stirrings, and police brutality killings throughout the cities and towns in the red states, there might now be the forces that create a coalition of Black and brown voters, urban and young liberals, and educated women in and outside of the suburbs, that can move these states into another column. One thing is clear, candidates are stepping up and winning support. They aren’t afraid to run and claim their place on the ballot or allow others to move to the front. They show conviction and courage. You can’t win, unless you run, and they’re running hard now.