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Sat Aug 15, 2020, 12:01 PM

Black Candidates 2020 - This Article Lists Them All By State


These articles are out of date because they were written in July and about 8 primary races weren't finished (AZ, CT, FL, MI, MN, KS, TN, WA). But it's a great piece.

Here, with the help of organizations like Higher Heights for America, Vote Run Lead, Emerge America, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, and more, Marie Claire compiled a list of mostly Democratic and non-partisan Black candidates running for office at the local, state, and federal level across the country in 2020. We encourage you to educate yourself about these candidates and their opponents by clicking the "learn more" button underneath each candidate to make an informed decision at the polls. By no means is this a comprehensive list of who's running for office, and we will continue to update this piece throughout the year as elections occur.


In a few related pieces, there are more black women running for Congress this year in US history.


In 2018, five new Black women were elected to the U.S. House, including three – Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) – who were the first women of color to represent their states in Congress. Four of five freshman Black women members of the 116th Congress (2019-2021) were elected in majority-white districts, challenging doubts about Black women’s viability outside of majority-minority electorates and expanding the types of districts from which Black congresswomen are elected. Two of these congresswomen – Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) – were among the women members who flipped House seats from Republican to Democrat in 2018; both will again face competitive elections this fall.

The 2020 election offers more opportunities for Black women to make history and disrupt prevailing trends. Cori Bush defeated long-time Representative Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary in Missouri’s 1st congressional district. As the Democratic nominee in a district favoring her party, Bush is favored to become the first Black woman and first woman of color to represent Missouri in the U.S. Congress. Candace Valenzuela, who is the Democratic nominee in Texas’ 24th congressional district, has the potential to become the first Afro-Latina in Congress. Her open-seat contest is currently deemed a toss-up by Cook Political Report. Valenzuela’s district is also majority-white, signaling an opportunity to further cement the electability of Black women – and women of color more broadly – among majority-white electorates. Likewise, Mayor Michelle De La Isla – who identifies as Latina, Black, and white – is the Democratic nominee in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district, which is majority-white. Her opponent defeated incumbent Representative Steve Watkins (R) to create an open-seat general election contest in a district already deemed competitive in November.

Black women are already U.S. House nominees in seven of 31 states – Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina – that have never sent a Black woman to Congress. Black women are also running in forthcoming or to-be-decided primary contests in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Washington – all states that have never sent a Black woman to Congress. In an open-seat contest in Washington’s 10th congressional district, two Black women are running for the Democratic nomination in a district that strongly favors their party. That district is also majority-white in its population.

Finally, two Black women – Angela Stanton-King (R) and Georgia State Senator Nikema Williams (D) – will compete for the U.S. House seat in Georgia’s 5th congressional district upon the death of Representative John Lewis (D). Senator Williams is strongly favored to win in what has been a reliably Democratic district.


"In 2020 we are seeing another year of historic developments, coming after a record number of Black women running for office in 2018. We already knew that the road to the White House and the road to 2020 would be powered Black women — but this data shows that Black women candidates are stepping off the sidelines as viable candidates with the voter support. Black women are converting electoral power into political power," said Glynda Carr, President and CEO of Higher Heights. "Black women are a powerful force in the American political system, and their political power at the polls and on the ballot, continues to grow and is increasingly recognized as an electoral game changer. When Black women run for office, they not only challenge biased views of who can or should lead, but also disrupt perceptions of electability."

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