More Black Women Than Ever Are Running For Political Office In Alabama

Britni Danielle Mar, 23, 2018

This fall, both Democrats and Republicans across the country will experience a new political wave.

Buoyed by Donald Trump’s low approval numbers, his divisive policies, and the rise of the #MeToo movement, women across the country are throwing their hats in the ring and running for office. In Alabama, where Democratic Senator Doug Jones stunned the political world by winning in the deeply Conservative state, more Black women than ever are getting into the race.

“It’s so important that we step up, that we show the nation that we can lead,” Jameria Moore, 49, told NBC News. Moore is running for a judgeship on the Jefferson County Probate Court, and is just one of three dozen Black women campaigning as Democrats in the red state. “That, here in Alabama, we’re ready to lead our state into the future.”

After Jones’ improbable senate win, which was aided by Black women who overwhelmingly supported his campaign, groups have been pouring resources into Alabama to encourage more Democrats to pursue offices across the state, and Black women are heeding the call.

“This place that was so resistant to change, where, now, a group of women who were looked down upon and dealt first-hand with the vestiges of slavery and segregation are the ones who can lead us forward — it’s monumental,” said Quentin James, founder and director of the Collective PAC, a  group focused on recruiting African-American candidates. “Where better to demonstrate the progress being made than in Alabama.”

Audri Scott, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd District, said Jones’ win inspired Black women to flex their political power both in and out of the voting booth. “The tinder was laid down, but Doug Jones was the spark that started a fire in Black women knowing they have a lot of power,” she said.

Groups like Emerge Alabama and Woke Vote have been cultivating female candidates in the state for years and are focused on replicating Jones’ success by building a broad coalition of supporters.

Dejuana Thompson, founder of Woke Vote, said it’s fitting so many Black women are running for office in Alabama because they have been at the forefront of the Democratic Party for years.

“Black women have been leading this party for years and showing up for Democratic issues for years, and the community follows their lead,” she said. “So when we have any opportunity to engage people of color, it creates a space for the student, the teacher, the mom to find their purpose. … We can leverage that into motivation to turn out for elections.”

Head to the NBC News website to read their full report on the wave of Black women running for office in Alabama.