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African-American Republicans

George Will notes the steadily increasing ranks of African-American Republicans holding significant elective and appointive office:
“Last year three African Americans running statewide for offices in the same state were all elected, something that had never happened before in any state, even during Reconstruction. The African Americans are Democrats, and the state is one of those proudly, reliably liberal ones — Massachusetts, perhaps, or California, right?
“Wrong. The state is Texas, and all three winners are Republicans.”
“Before the 2000 election, the most prominent African American in public life was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is prominent because of a Republican, the first President Bush. Never have African Americans been as prominent in a presidential administration as they are in the current one, given the war against terrorism and the prominence of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice in the waging of it. Before the war eclipsed domestic policy, the president was particularly interested in education policy, which is the purview of Secretary of Education Rod Paige, an African American.
“Britain’s Conservative Party gave the country a Jewish prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, and a female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. The second African American elected governor of an American state since Reconstruction — Douglas Wilder was the first, in Virginia in 1989 — may come from America’s conservative party, the ranks of whose elected and appointed officials are decreasingly monochrome. And the successes of African American Republicans in statewide elections will begin to produce modest — and tremendously consequential — Republican gains among African Americans in presidential elections.”

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