November 3rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Black Republicans to serve in same Congress

(CNN) - For the first time since 1997, two black Republicans will serve concurrent terms in the House of Representatives.

Of the 14 black GOP candidates on the ballot last night, only two - Allen West, Florida-22, and Tim Scott, South Carolina-01 - defeated their Democratic opponents. West defeated two-term incumbent Rep. Ron Klein in south Florida, while Scott fills an open seat vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Henry Brown Jr.

Candidates in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia all lost their bids.

The last black Republican to serve in the House was Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, who served from 1995 to 2003. Former Connecticut Rep. Gary Franks served from 1991 to 1997. Their overlapping years marked the last time two black Republican lawmakers served in the House.

- CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2010 • Allen West • House of Representatives
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. keepstufingthis

    Will they be told they cannot join the CBC, because it is only composed of liberal black folks, like JC Watts was? Will NPR cover them at all. Will MSNBC, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman, demean and degrade them?

    November 3, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Lolita Peralta

    Black Republicans to serve in same Congress???? Is there another Congress? What was this intended to mean? Thanks.

    November 3, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. PJL

    So did the headline writer of this article think there was a second, separate but equal, congress for black republicans?

    November 3, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. ncrawfie

    Obviously race does matter in america..why the fact there are black republicans serving in the same congress newsworthy and while we are at it why the fact that that there is zero blacks in the senate newsworthy.P.s you have only 1 black president in the white house,,get my drift? P.s you only have 1 brain...use it

    November 3, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    if the GOP would come to more black areas of the country and try to get black votes perhaps there would be MORE black Republicans. They sure won't get them with people leading the party like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh and I doubt if Mike Steele would even have the gall to show up in a black neighborhood. I am still waiting for Tea Party to hold a rally in either Harlem, Watts, or south Chicago since they claim to be so diverse.

    November 3, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. CommonSense

    Congress is divided into sessions. Hence, they are serving in "the same congress" / session.

    November 3, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. vic nashville tn

    Tea Parties looking forward to start own coalition in house (caucus) they have nearly 110 tea party members in the house
    So who have majority in the house Tea party or Republicans
    Who will to listen who with in 24 hrs GOP is divided

    November 3, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Edward

    Republican leaders made a calculated decision during the Nixon era to forgo the African American vote. It was called the southern strategy. An adviser to the Nixon administration stated then that from now on Republicans will not get more than 5% of the African American vote, so they knew what they were doing and it worked. African Americans used to be Republicans before they decided they did not want African American votes.

    November 3, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. desi

    I thought that race was supposed to be a non issue now...what does it matter if they ae black republicans or democrats, why can't we all just be americans with different ideas to make our country stronger?

    November 3, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Edward

    Have you noticed that most middle class African Americans have more in common with conservatives than Democrats? Most middle class African Americans are very religious and I'm sure that if not for racism I'm quite sure that most African Americans would be Republican. The GOP made it very clear though that African American votes are not wanted so don't blame African Americans for mostly voting for one party. Your party decided that it would be politically expedient to lose all of the minority vote in order to get the mostly racist (at the time) southern vote.

    November 3, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Edward

    I'd also like to state that I think there's nothing wrong with an African American that wants to be or is a Republican. If someone finds that they agree with Republicans on certain principles then they should do what's best for them and follow their heart. More power to them.

    November 3, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Paul

    Think we can we stop announcing "first black" this and that Cnn? It sounds so 50's. Kind of like announcing the "first" black
    on a white basketball team in Germany in the 1940s.

    November 3, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. zero

    Ok fist we need someone hoo is not fake and here for us.u say u are going to do this and that.but it geting worse oboma needs to lay his foot down.i mean bush did what for us. He is the one that started the war.30 mil a month no it was stuipd.i have seen it we should have been out a long time ogo

    November 3, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. jules sand-perkins

    Racism has no place in America, in Congress or anywhere, at any time.
    Why even report a representative's or senator's race?
    I have fought in the civil rights movement since the 1950s.
    I'm really sick of hearing humans described by skin color.
    When are we going to grow up and get over obsessions with race?

    November 3, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. Scott Evil

    I'm thinking evil thoughts. Oh no, here it comes.....

    These two black Republicans sole purpose in the 112th Congress will be to serve Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor tea ever session. I can't wait til these two black Republicans try to socialize with the rest of the Black folk and Rep. Bachmann screams from the other side that they are 'da men but they can't socialize with the minorities. They two are GOP slaves just like JC Watts was. Good luck to the two Black congressmen.

    November 3, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Zach Graber

    So 14 black Republicans ran and only 2 won. Where is the expected racism angle in this story? I don't know of any racism at play in these elections, but that tends not to matter to the MSM. When someone whom is black runs for a major seat –governor, U.S. Senator– and that person is a Democrat, there are always at least a few stories about how racsim might rear its ugly head to keep the Democrat candidate out of office. No mention of that here in this article. Why the double-standard? Again, I have no evidence that racism is at play, but neither do the writers who WORry about poTENtial racism affecting Democrat candidates. Do news writers feel that black Republican candidates are immune from racism? Compare Michael Steel running for Senator in Maryland to any other black Democrat candidate for Governor or U.S. Senate. He got treeated badly. MSM didn't seem to care much. Oh yes, and he lost, to a white Democrat candidate. Obviously, coudln't be racism. Nothing to see there, or here with the black Republicans –at least according to the MSM.

    November 3, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Right Leaning Independent

    Will the liberal elitists consider them to be Racist since they are Republicans!! LOL... Oh the shame – a black man working against Obama.....

    November 3, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    I'm the only Black person in my Department!
    I'm the only Black person @ my Eye Doctor's office!
    Today, I was the only Black person in Walgreen!
    Yesterday, I was the only Black person at the YMCA!
    Tuesday, I was the only Black person walking down my block and I live in a very mixed neighborhood.
    My daughter is the only Black person in her Anthropology class!!

    President Obama is the first BLACK President!!!

    RACE matters in EVERYONE's lives because it is always being reported in the MEDIA. This time, and mostly almost always, it’s NOT coming from Al Sharpton where MOST think it originates!! Actually, Sharpton ‘combats’ it after it is brought out. The REAL instigator is the MEDIA!! So the next time I say something that I think it’s UNFAIR to a person because they are African American – No one should tell me I should just 'get over it' because it does not exist!!!

    T'sah – Out of Campaign Mode – N2 backing up President Obama as he continues to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD to the 21st Century!!!!

    November 3, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. HD 100% ETH

    Haha. No thanks? From Af.... Lion Safary to White/Heaven House Democracy! Don't you have Heart & Mind? Your dream was to get a babanana, but now, you tried to compute with your Superrior bonanza. Hahahaha..., Oh! Time!!!

    November 3, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |