Black female candidates seeking public office across the nation have a great opportunity to win this year, partly because Black women are politically engaged at high numbers. According to the Black Women’s Roundtable, Black women voted at the highest percentage of any other demographic in 2008 and 2012.
That data showed matched up with the fact that Black women are increasingly pursuing elected offices never held by a woman.
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In New Orleans, for example, residents will choose between City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and former judge Desiree Charbonnet, two African-American women running for mayor, an office that a man has always occupied.
A trio of Black women political hopefuls were also seeking to make historic firsts in South Carolina, The Charleston Chronicle reported.
Robin Ruth Gause, of Myrtle Beach, was running for a state House seat; Marguerite Chrissy Johnson was campaigning to be elected mayor of Walterboro; and Peggy Hammond could become the first Black woman to sit on Walterboro’s town council.
Hammond told the Chronicle that her candidacy was not about building a political career.
“I am a citizen who has great concern for my community,” she said. “I believe that given my community experience and activism, I can help grow Walterboro as a city council member.”
Black women represent about 7 percent of the U.S. population but hold fewer than 1 percent of statewide elected offices, 3.5 percent of state legislative seats and 2 percent of mayoral offices in cities with more than 30,000 residents, according to Higher Heights for America.