African American Dems Lose Primary But the Seat May Not Be Lost
The 11 candidates garnered 68% of the vote and captured nearly 52,000 votes, however, white State Senator Steve Cohen topped all candidates with 23,616 and 31% of the vote to become the Democrats choice to replace Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. who won the party's nomination to run for the United States Senate (for results click here http://www.blackpolicy.org/black-races.php?s=TN).
Ford will face Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker for the seat being vacated by Senator Bill Frist.
In Ford's former congressional seat, a district drawn specifically to elect an African American member of Congress and held by an African American for over 30 years, Cohen is set to take on GOP pick Mark White who won a four person race including Derrick Bennett.
But the fall race may not be set yet. Rumors persist that Ford's brother Jake is considering the race and will run as an independent. The website is set http://www.jakefordforcongress.com, though not populated with content, and numbers in the district are there, but the questions presented are interesting.
- Will African American dems voted against their party nominee?
- Will African Americans vote for the younger Ford out of habit of voting for a Ford and because he's African American?
- If they do vote for Jake Ford, will they do so in impressive enough numbers that Mark White pulls a Cohen (and slips in as the winner because the Democrat vote is split)?
- If Jake Ford runs what will be impact on his brother's race for the US Senate?
- If brother does run does Congressman Ford support his party's nominee or his brother?
- and if he supports his brother how does the party respond?
All these questions will be answered soon enough but they didn't even have to be asked if the African American community had coalesced around a candidate or two in the first place.