Record number of black candidates in 2006

Aug. 28, 2006 at 10:50 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- More black candidates are operating campaigns for the U.S. Senate and governors of U.S. states in 2006 than ever before.

Of the six black candidates for upper-tier office, three are Democrats and three are Republicans, the Christian Science Monitor reported Monday. The paper said the Republican candidates are especially noteworthy, as the party has long struggled to obtain more than 10 percent of the black vote.

If the campaign of Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a Democrat, succeeds, he would become the first black senator from the south since Reconstruction.

The race for the Senate in Maryland could come down to two black candidates if former U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume emerges victorious from the Democratic primary. He would face Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

Other black candidates include Republican Ken Blackwell in the race for Ohio governor, former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann running for Pennsylvania governor on the Republican ticket, and Democrat Deval Patrick in the race for Massachusetts governor.

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