Politics and Government

State Office Holders

How did African Americans fare in the 2006 statewide and local elections?

African Americans took top posts in several 2006 statewide and local elections. For example, in Massachusetts, Deval Patrick was elected governor, the second black since Reconstruction to hold a state’s top post. Anthony Brown was elected lieutenant governor in Maryland and David Paterson was elected lieutenant governor in New York. (Paterson became New York’s governor from 2008 to 2010.)

A political newcomer in the race for mayor was Cory Booker, who made his first bid for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2002 but was unsuccessful. He ran again in 2006 and was elected to office; he was reelected to a second term in 2010. His close connection to New Jersey governor Christopher “Chris” Christie and his bold and successful steps to improve the lives of the citizens of Newark by reducing crime, improving housing, combating drug abuse, and improving education brought him attention in the national media. In Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty became the district’s youngest mayor in history when elected in 2006. Previously he was a Ward Four council member.

A Baptist minister and civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson founded Operation PUSH and the National Rainbow Coalition.


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