2010: The Year of the Black Republicans?

GOP has most black candidates since reconstruction
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2010 6:50 AM CDT
Allen West, a former Army lieutenant colonel an a 2010 Republican candidate for Congress in Florida's District 22, attends the Safe City security conference on December 1, 2009 in Tel Aviv, Israel.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Black candidates are suddenly coming out of the woodwork for Republicans; there are at least 32 running for Congress this year, which hasn't happened since Reconstruction, according to the New York Times . Of course, the party only believes five of them actually have a prayer of winning, and most face primary competition, but that's still a coup for a party that hasn't had a black House member since 2003.

Many credit Barack Obama's election with inspiring more African Americans to run. “Aside from the fact that I disagree fundamentally with all his views, I am proud of my nation” for electing Obama, said Arkansas hopeful Princella Smith. Some, like Allen West in Florida, say they're getting support now they couldn't before. But some skepticism persists. “In 1994 and 2000 there were 24 black GOP nominees,” noted one Democratic strategist. “And you didn't see many of them win their elections.”

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