Attica Scott is positioned to become the only African-American woman in the Kentucky legislature in almost 20 years, NBC News reports.
According to the Courier-Journal, she won 59 percent of the vote in a three-person primary against two other Democrats. She will run unopposed in the November general election.
In an interview with NBC, Scott gave this statement about her victory:
“It feels amazing to be the first Black women in almost two decades to be elected to the legislature in Frankfort — that’s huge. I’m representing a district that is 50 percent Black and 50 percent White so that says that people across the district regardless of race believed in my leadership and also knew it was time for a new voice and a fresh face.”
Scott defeated incumbent Rep. Tom Riner, a Baptist pastor, who has served in the State House since 1982.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Riner faced sharp criticism within the party for not caucusing with House Democrats. Many Democrats were also angry that he introduced Kim Davis to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian law firm that some progressives have labeled a hate group. Davis is the Rowan County clerk who refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Scott told NBC that Riner “was a Democrat in name only.” She added that he opposed equality for women and the LGBT community. Her campaign message was that it’s time for “a new voice.”
One of her main legislative goals is juvenile justice reform. Scott talked to NBC about her legislative agenda:
“We have to look at how we are incarcerating our young people — particularly Black and Latino girls. We need to look at the state minimum wage… We need to look at what we’re doing to restore people who are formally incarcerated into society. Whether it’s the restoration of voting rights for people formally incarcerated or banning the box so folks can have a second chance and become employable.”
Scott, a mother of two, told the network that she received support from former state Rep. Eleanor Jordan, the previous Black female state lawmaker. She said Jordan, a mentor, left the State House in 2000 after losing her run for Congress.