Georgia Makes History With 5 Black Women on Its Statewide Ballot

This November Doreen Carter, Liz Johnson, Robbin Shipp, Connie Stokes and Valarie Wilson will go down in the history books of Georgia.

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Georgia state Capitol

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Give the state of Georgia a round of applause.

For the first time ever, it will have five African-American women on its statewide ballot come November.

Democratic state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler said of the historic moment, “We did not want to miss the opportunity to get out and announce this to everyone in the state of Georgia and tell everyone how important this election will be,” the Savannah Morning News reports. 

The candidates are Doreen Carter for secretary of state, Liz Johnson for insurance commissioner, Robbin Shipp for labor commissioner, Connie Stokes for lieutenant governor and Valarie Wilson for school superintendent, according to the news site.

Shipp said she didn’t realize when she qualified on March 7 that she would be part of history; it was just a perfectly timed coincidence. “I was just trying to serve,” she said.

Vice President and Executive Director of Rainbow PUSH Janice Mathis praised the women for their commitment to public service, according to the Morning News. “It is so consistent with the way African-American women treat their institutions,” she said. “Whether it’s our churches or families or sororities, you won’t find women more devoted to causes than African-American women.”

The candidates will travel in a bus touring the state in August, targeting cities with a high number of registered black female voters to solicit votes. They’ll begin in metro Atlanta.

“What you find is women are just energized,” said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, according to the news site. “They understand that collectively they have the power.”