Last night saw an incumbent under the gun win easily, a relative unknown post a surprising first in a United States Senate race in the deep south and a blast from the past win again.
Yesterday had 14 African Americans involved in primaries across the country, http://blackpolicy.org/black-races.php
, the most yet on any given primary day.
In our "Key Black Race of the Moment" Mississippi State Representative Erik Fleming
political pundits and raced away from three other opponents to win the Democratic primary for the United States Senate by 20 percentage points over his nearest rival. Despite that commanding performance Rep. Fleming couldn't crest the magical 50% and will be in a run-off against businessman Bill Bowlin on June 27th.
Rep. Fleming rolled to the top in part because of the tremendous turnout for the well publicized and personal primary in Mississippi's second Congressional district.
In the second district incumbent Bennie Thompson
faced what was suppose to be his toughest primary opponent in his 13 year career. Mississippi State Representative Chuck Espy
gave the Congressman a solid fight, but in the end couldn't overcome the inherent advantage in fundraising members of Congress have and lost by a little over 26,000 votes.
In neighboring Alabama two term incumbent Artur Davis
smashed political newcomer Eddison Walters
in the Democratic primary in Alabama's seventh congressional district.
Congressman Davis garnered 93,266 votes and held Walters to under 10,000.
Lopsided victories where the order of the night for Davis' colleagues from California as well as Congresswomen Maxine Waters
, Diane Watson
and Juanita Millender-McDonald
cruised to victory by an average of 69%.
As easy as primary day was for congressional incumbents two candidates for Governor came up woefully short.
In the Golden State Barbara Bencel
failed in her effort to be the Democrat nominee to face Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November. In the eight person field Ms. Bencel managed an anemic 2.7% of the vote.
As low as Barbara Bencel vote total was she nearly tripled the percentage of Iowa hopeful Sal Mohamad
In the four way race to replace outgoing Iowa Governor and presumed presidential candidate Tom Vilsack, Mr. Mohamad had amassed only one percent of the vote with 97% of the precinct counted.
Finally, while our focus this election year has been on statewide and federal office candidates we have shown interest in municipal elections (the race for Mayor of New Orleans comes to mind) and Tuesday night was no different. In the city of Oakland last night former Congressional icon Ron Dellums
barely avoided a run off and was elected Mayor of the City of Oakland.
With all precincts reporting the former Congressman captured 50% of vote (the exact percentage needed to avoid a run off) to best a field of six candidates including the president of City Council.
All results can be seen at http://blackpolicy.org/black-races.php