As conventional (and political) wisdom goes, black Americans, on average, typically vote for Democrats, and so when the Call & Post, a Cleveland newspaper that targets African-American readers, endorsed Ohio’s Republican governor for re-election on Tuesday, it represented a slight change of course in the stream of racial politics.
Although it’s not the first time the newspaper has backed a Republican candidate, Cleveland.com reports, Call & Post editors argued that Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich earned his endorsement because many facets of his agenda have helped African Americans, especially those who are low-income and those who own businesses.
“The endorsement specifically touts Kasich’s push to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income Ohioans and his support of set-asides for minority contractors on the Opportunity Corridor project being built in Cleveland’s inner city,” Cleveland.com explained.
As if the paper knew that it might receive backlash about the endorsement and would need to back up and delineate why it’s supporting a Republican, it came armed with some pretty impressive numbers that would put a smile on any black business owner or job seeker’s face in Ohio.
"Of the $267 million in construction contracts on the Corridor, Kasich set aside a staggering 20 percent for minority-owned and disadvantaged firms. That’s about $22.7 million 'specifically' for black-owned businesses, not to mention an additional half a million dollars thrown in for job training of area residents. And even this came with some maneuvering from him on our behalf with the federal government and Turnpike Board,” the Call & Post endorsement read.
The Republican National Committee, in a press statement emailed to The Root, applauded Kasich’s efforts and encouraged black Americans to perhaps reconsider where their political allegiances lie.
“Republicans make inroads within black communities when we engage voters and work hard to earn their trust,” Orlando Watson, the RNC’s communications director for black media, wrote.
“The Call & Post’s endorsement of Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich proves he has done just that. Meanwhile, Democrats have offered little to black voters and continue to take the black vote for granted,” Watson said.