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Instead of walking in lockstep, friction between African-American political leaders at the national and local levels could threaten success in the 2018 midterm elections.

Georgia’s Democratic Rep. John Lewis campaigned on Saturday for Rep. Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston. There’s nothing unusual about Lewis, a civil rights icon, supporting a liberal Democrat—especially one who has served 10 terms in Congress with a track record of supporting issues that are important to Black people. What’s raising eyebrows in Boston’s Black community is that Capuano is White and competing against a female Black progressive candidate, Ayanna Pressley.

Lewis is not alone. In fact, the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee endorsed Capuano on Friday over Pressley, who was the first Black woman to served on the Boston City Council.

Local Black elected officials understand the loyalty to Capuano but would have preferred that their national counterparts stay neutral for the Democratic primary race, according to the New York Times. Bennie Wiley, a local civic leader who is supporting Pressley, is “disappointed, but not surprised” by the Black caucus’ endorsement of Capuano. Marie St. Fleur, a former state representative, raised questions about the caucus’ understanding of local issues.

What’s at risk in the endorsement is further dissatisfaction with the Democratic party, which supposedly embraces diversity. Democratic leaders have credited Black women with saving the party in recent elections but have come up short in returning the support of Black candidates. Black Democratic voters are demanding more than a simple thank you for their loyalty.

This situation could harm that party’s success in the 2018 midterm elections, as the Democrats seek to take control of Congress. Black voters want a reason to come out and cast a ballot. Overall African-American voter turnout declined in 2016, the first major election in the post-Barack Obama era. This division between national and local Black leaders could continue the decline.








Division Between Local And National Black Political Leaders Could Harm Democrats’ Chances In 2018 was originally published on

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6 thoughts on “Division Between Local And National Black Political Leaders Could Harm Democrats’ Chances In 2018

  1. Clotillda on said:

    Democrats are fixated with illegal immigrants. I think Black People should stop voting
    Party Lines, switch parties and register as Independents. Make them EARN your vote.
    Stop voting for a party that doesn’t care about you.

  2. ted gravely on said:

    Well remember- United we stand, Divided we fall; We are tighter than pantyhose two sizes to small. Brought to you by JJ, Cool Breeze, Poppo, and Head. That was tom foolery from Good Times back in the day, but if this party keeps up with the same shenanigans that divided people in 2016, it will once again be just as embarrassing as JJ was on that show. You know, “what can I say.”

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