It’s still too soon to determine which party cinched control of Congress. But as results poured in last night, it became clear that some of the most closely watched Black women running in the midterms, including Stacey Abram’s in Georgia and Cheri Beasley’s in North Carolina, were not going to pull out victories.
In 2022, a record number of Black women announced their intentions to run for elected office. Many of these women, including Abrams who would have been the first Black female governor, were vying for positions that had never been held by a Black woman.
In almost all of these highly anticipated races, including Rep. Val Deming’s race against Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Democrats were trying to rest power away from Republicans.
And while it’s likely, many pundits will view this race as a test of how far Black women can go in red states, some Black political organizers argue the party’s lack of investment in women of color candidates is a larger part of the puzzle.
Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, says that in North Carolina, for example, it took Democrats far too long to respond to dark money attacks lobbied at Cheri Beasley.
“The Democratic Party must do the work of listening to women of color voters, thought leaders, and political strategists,” said Allison in statement. “And do more to support women of color who run for office.”
The night wasn’t only filled with disappointment for Black female candidates. Summer Lee became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.
In Massachusetts Andrea Campbell became the state’s first Black female Attorney General. And, in California, Malia Cohen became the first Black women elected as state Controller.
If you were rooting for Black women to sweep seats held by Republicans, last night likely didn’t go as you’d hoped. But there are certainly some races worth celebrating if you’re excited more Black women getting into political office.