African-American female candidates—both novices and veterans—have overcome obstacles to win primary races and now will compete in the November general elections.
Dozens of Black female Democrats put their hats in the political ring as challengers for U.S. House seats. By the party’s own admission, Black women have been the backbone of the party. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee endorsed only three of the Black women running for Congress.
It’s no wonder that many of the candidates feel betrayed. Democrats rode a wave of support from Black women voters last year in Virginia and earlier this year in Alabama.
Yet, they’ve persevered and won impressive victories as they near the finish line on Election Day.
One race that drew national attention was Stacey Abrams’ primary victory in May, earning her the opportunity to compete in November to become Georgia governor. With that primary win, Abrams became the first Black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States.
Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley scored a major Massachusetts Democratic Party primary upset in September, riding a wave of support for her pledge to be an agent for progressive change in her district’s long-neglected communities. Pressley is on track to become the first Black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress.
Also poised to make history is Jahana Hayes, who earned the prestigious National Teacher of the Year award in 2016 and won her primary contest in August. If she defeats the Republican candidate in November’s general election, she will become Connecticut’s first Black Democrat to serve in Congress.