Tuesday’s primaries saw the election of two progressives to the U.S. House of Representatives, Keith Ellison and Yvette Clarke. The black caucus will welcome it’s first muslim member and it twenty-first black female member, Yvette Clarke.
Minnesota State Representative Keith Ellison won a hardfought battle against retiring Congressman Martin Olav Sabo’s Administrative assistant and a former state Senator to claim the most liberal democratic seat in Minnesota and a footnote in history as the first African American elected to Congress from Minnesota.
New York City Councilwoman Yvette Clarke follows in the footsteps of her mother Una Clarke also a former NYC Councilwoman and congressional candidate. A Carribban American, Ms. Clarke also follows in the tradition of the first African American woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm a personal hero of mine as well. Ms. Clarke faced considerable odds as well in her quest for this seat because she faced a strong field of black male contenders and a white fellow member of the NYC Council, David Yassky.
It is my hope that these two a joined by a third member, Donna Edwards, a progressive grassroots activist from Maryland. She faces an uphill struggle in unseating 14 year incumbant Al Wynn, a black corporate whore in the Lieberman mold. She may yet pull it out after provisional ballots in Montgomery county are tallied.