Dean Nelson says as far as he knows, there have never been as many black Republicans running for Congress as there are this year.
Asked why that’s the case, the vice chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a conservative group of black people who promote smaller government, pointed to an unlikely inspiration for the Republicans: Democratic President Barack Obama.
“I think with his success, it has given a level of hope and expectation for African-American candidates, whether they’re Republican or Democrat that you know hey, this is something that can be done,” Nelson said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
Because many black conservatives share the same type of political experience Obama had at the state level before going to Washington, Nelson said, many are saying, “doggone it, I should throw my hat into the ring and I might be able to have success.”
Of the more than 30 black Republican congressional and senatorial candidates running for office this election cycle, the Frederick Douglass Foundation held a leadership summit for more than 15 of them this weekend.
“Because [Obama's] policies are so out of touch with most of America I think specifically you have black conservatives that are looking beyond just the image. They’re looking at policy and how it impacts us,” Nelson said.
He also said there’s “a stronger network of visible black conservatives than many have not seen in the past.”
“What we found is a lot of candidates are feeling like, ‘Hey, I’m not an island by myself, there are other black Republicans who are out there who are not afraid to say it,’ and I think that that has given them a greater sense of confidence,” Nelson said.
During the weekend, the attendees met with RNC Chairman Michael Steele and noted conservative Republicans such as Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. The weekend event concluded with a dinner reception with Mr. Ken Morris, a great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington.
Here is a list of black Republican candidates in 2010 provided by the group:
Candidates for the Senate
Candidates for Congress
- Lester Phillip, Alabama’s 5th District
- Princella Smith, Arkansas’s 1st District
- Vernon Parker, Arizona’s 3rd District
- Virginia Fuller,California’s 7th District
- Star Parker, California’s 37th District
- Chrystopher Smith, California’s 39th District
- Mason Weaver, California’s 53rd District
- Ryan Frazier, Colorado’s 7th District
- Prince Brown, Florida’s 8th District
- Eddie Adams, Florida’s 11th District
- Corey Poitier, Florida’s 17th District
- Allen West, Florida’s 22nd District
- Deon Long, Florida’s 24th District
- Cory Ruth, Georgia’s 4th District
- Deborah Honeycutt, Georgia’s 13th District
- Rupert Parchment, Georgia’s 13th District
- Isaac Hayes, Illinois’s 2nd District
- Robert Broadus, Maryland’s 4th District
- Charles Lollar, Maryland’s 5th District
- Bill Hardiman, Michigan’s 3rd District
- Angela McGlowan, Mississippi’s 1st District
- Barb Davis White, Minnesota’s 5th District
- Martin Baker, Missour;s 1st District
- Shannon Wright, New Jersey’s 6th District
- Michael Faulkner,New York’s 15th District
- Jerry Grimes, North Carolina’s 1st District
- Lou Huddleston, North Carolina’s 8th District
- Bill Randall, North Carolina’s 13th District
- Jean Howard-Hill, Tennessee’s 3rd District
- Charlotte Bergmann, Tennessee’s 9th District
- William Hurd, Texas’s 23rd District
- Stephen Broaden, Texas’s 30th District
- Coby Dillard, Virginia’s 3rd District