Black Lawmakers Break New Ground

Despite a blackout in the Senate, some black lawmakers made history on Election Day.

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Black lawmakers scored historic victories. Terri Sewell, Tim Scott and Allen West became history makers last night when they won seats in the House of Representatives. Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Don Chamberlain to become the first black woman to be elected to Congress from her state. According to The Birmingham News, Sewell stated, "I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to represent the 7th District." "I'm full of gratitude and humility right now." Sewell is only the fourth woman from Alabama to go to Congress, only the second to be elected to office and the first to serve in Congress without succeeding a deceased husband in the job. She is also the first African-American woman to serve in Congress from the state of Alabama. She'll succeed Rep. Artur Davis, who attempted to become Alabama's first black governor but lost in the Democratic primary.

Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, defeated Democrat Ben Frasier to become the first black Republican elected to Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction and will be the first black GOP member to serve in the House since Rep. J.C. Watts retired in 2003. Scott, who had the support of GOP darling Sarah Palin, the Tea Party idol and Alaska's former governor, defeated Carroll Campbell III, son of the late popular South Carolina governor, in the GOP primary. He then defeated Paul Thurmond, son of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, in a GOP runoff election. Scott won in a Charleston-area district where white voters outnumber blacks three to one. Scott was one of 14 black Republicans nationally who ran for House seats.

In Florida, military veteran Allen West fought a two-term Democrat to win his House race. He is the first black Republican elected to Congress from Florida since a former slave served two terms in the 1870s. Despite the major setbacks suffered by Democrats as a whole, some black lawmakers did extremely well on election night.

Read more at Black America Web.

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