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Election 2022: 10 Black Men on the Ballot for Congress

The election of 2022 is projected to be one of political chaos. Following the overwhelming Republican defeat in the 2020 election, many political commentators predict a red wave will engulf the country as right-wing voters seek to push back against the "liberal agenda". However, others foresee a blue wave coming this fall, brought on by progressives who want to prevent the return of Trump-era politics. No matter the color of this metaphorical wave, there are thousands of politicians across the country who intend to ride it.

All over America, candidates are pleading their case for your vote. And because of how crowded the political stage is this time of year, it can be hard for people to find a politician that they can trust and support. This is an especially hard challenge for Black people, who historically have been given the short end of the political stick.

Here are 10 Black men running for US Congress in 2022 who could use the help of their community to win their respective races and represent our interest in the capital.

Gary Chambers

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Gary Chambers is no stranger to Louisiana politics. For over a decade, he’s been working within his home state to fight for civil rights and justice reform. As an activist, Chambers has organized several marches and rallies calling out police brutality following the killings of Alton Sterling and George Floyd. He also raised funds and supplies to help the victims of Hurricane Ida back in 2021 through his nonprofit "Bigger Than Me."

Chambers’ rise to prominence stemmed from a viral video in 2020 where he made a passionate speech calling on members of his city council to change the name of the high school his daughter attended, which at the time was named after confederate general Robert E. Lee. The video quickly gained millions of views on social media and led Louisianians to push him to run for office.

Chambers is now running for the US Senate as a Democrat. His campaign focuses on increasing the federal minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and reforming the justice system.

You can find more information about Gary Chambers and his campaign on his website here.

Charles Booker

Charles Booker is running with one clear goal in mind: Beat Rand Paul. From the beginning of his campaign, Booker has been boldly proclaiming that the Republican senator must be removed from the Senate as soon as possible before he can do any more damage to our democracy. The 38-year-old Louisville native has been pushing back against right-wing politicians ever since he was elected into the Kentucky House of Representatives back in 2018. As a state representative, he spent most of his fighting for aid and resources for Kentucky's poorest areas, oftentimes in direct conflict with his Republican counterparts.

Despite disagreeing with Booker on virtually everything, the incumbent Paul refused to debate his opponent on a public stage. However, the lack of face-to-face engagement hasn't kept Charles Booker from calling him out on his harmful actions in Congress. Booker is championing many leftist ideals including strong labor unions, universal basic income, and health care reform.

You can find more information about Charles Booker and his campaign on his website here.

Johnny DuPree

After serving the people of Mississippi for more than 30 years, Johnny DuPree is ready to work for his state on the national level as a house representative.

DuPree’s first entry to politics was as a school board member in Hattiesburg back in the late 80s. He worked in the school system for 14 years before deciding to run for mayor of Hattiesburg in 2001. His campaign would turn out to be historic as he would become the city's first Black mayor and held the office for 16 years, making him the longest-serving mayor in city history. During his term, he ensured the stability of his city through both Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 recession.

Johnny DuPree is now running for Mississippi’s 4th district House seat as a Democrat. The issues that he's focused on through his campaign so far include improving education, increasing the minimum wage, and making health care more accessible.

You can find more information about Johnny DuPree and his campaign on his website here.

Rev. Raphael Warnock

Since the special election back in 2020, Rev. Raphael Warnock has been serving the final half of the late Johnny Isakson’s term. Since then, he's caused quite a stir in Congress. Through vocally opposing then-president Donald Trump, supporting the increase of minimum wage, and speaking on the floor in support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. In two short years, he made a name for himself nationally, and now that Isakson’s old term is up, the reverend is looking to start a term of his own.

Before he was elected, Rev. Warnock was already working hard for the people of Georgia as a civil rights leader. As senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, he led several demonstrations fighting for the freedoms and aid denied to marginalized people. During his time as an activist, Rev Warnock worked closely with the Democrat party to bring these issues to Washington’s doorstep. It’s even rumored that they wanted him to run for office much sooner than when he did.

Despite his religious background, the reverend supports many progressive ideals, such as abortion rights, gun control, abolishing the death penalty, and gay marriage.

You can find more information about Rev. Raphael Warnock and his campaign on his website here.

Don Davis

From working in tobacco fields to serving in the military to becoming mayor of his hometown, Don Davis has always looked to help those around him at the highest level he could. From the small town of Snow Hill, Davis has worked as a college instructor, served as the youngest mayor of his birth town, and led as a Captain in the US Air Force.

As mayor, Davis helped modernize Snow Hill by bringing high internet access to the area, repairing old eroding roads, and building up their economy. He then served six terms on the North Carolina state senate, where he fought for small towns like the one he came from and helped gain hundreds of millions of dollars in health care funding for the state. After winning the Democratic nomination for the 1st district house seat of North Carolina, he’s been working hard to convince the people of his home state that he should represent them in Washington.

His political focuses include supporting veterans, protecting women’s rights, and improving rural infrastructure.

You can find more information about Don Davis and his campaign on his website here.

Jonathan Jackson

Son of the famous civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Jonathan Jackson has seen nothing but success in his still young political career. After securing the Democratic nomination in June, he’s been the favorite to fill the 1st district seat of longtime congressman Bobby Rush, the only man to defeat Barack Obama in an election. If his campaign is successful, he would be the third of his family to serve in the US Congress, his father and eldest brother preceding him.

Despite not being as outwardly religious as his father, he’s gone out of his way to connect with his community as a businessman. Jackson has helped raise funds and awareness for several causes and nonprofits in the Chicago area, particularly ones that deal with wrongful convictions and imprisonments, leading to several innocent prisoners of color being freed. In addition to that, he's also been active in the city’s education system. Fighting against the closure of local schools and the expansion of privately owned charter schools

Jackson is running under many progressive ideals, which include stricter gun laws, higher tax rates for the wealthy, and Medicare for all.

You can find more information about Johnathan Jackson and his campaign on his website here.

Henry Martin

In the deep red state of Missouri, Henry Martian is working hard to turn one of the state’s House seats blue. Martian is a Gulf War veteran who served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield. After his service in the Army and the National Guard, he advanced his education in college and made a career as a public school educator. Now he’s facing off against incumbent Sam Graves for Missouri’s 6th district House seat.

This isn't the first time Martian has gone head-to-head against Graves for this seat. Back in 2018, the two men had competed for this spot in Congress in which the Republican Sam Graves soundly defeated the political newcomer. Despite his previous shortcomings, he was able to gain enough support to win the Democratic primary for a second time. Now with more political experience under his belt, the war vet fights for the 6th district seat with a simple yet powerful slogan, “Missouri Matters''.

Martian has been a very vocal supporter of a multitude of left-leaning values such as the right to abortions, the removal of mandatory minimums, and the complete legalization of marijuana.

You can find more information about Henry Martian and his campaign on his website here.

Mandela Barnes

Since graduating college, Mandela Barnes has dedicated his life to serving the people of Wisconsin. Born and raised in the state’s capital of Milwaukee, Barnes has used his education to fight for the people of his hometown as a community organizer. At the age of 27, he transitioned from a local activist to a state lawmaker after being elected to the Wisconsin House of Representatives in the 11th district. As a state rep, he fought for issues such as strong labor unions, environmental conservation and racial equality.

Four years later, at the age of 31, he became the first Black Lt. Governor of Wisconsin, where he was able to guide the state in a more progressive direction together with Governor Tony Evers. Barnes serves on several councils as Lt. Governor that focus on creating racial justice and economic equality.

Now Barnes is in a close US senate race against the incumbent Ron Johnson. And with Wisconsin being such a contested battleground state, it's more likely here than in most other states that the Democrats could gain the edge in the Senate they've been looking for. A win for Mandela Barnes could shift national politics completely and directly affect the remainder of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Barnes is running on the issues he's been fighting for his entire political career, which include strengthening labor unions, protecting the environment, and creating jobs.

You can find more information about Mandela Barnes and his campaign on his website here.

Dr. Kermit Jones

After being redrawn in 2020 to exclude most of Sacramento, the once primarily Democrat 3rd California district is now a heavily contested election. But that hasn’t stopped political newcomer Dr. Kermit Jones from throwing himself into the race.

The War on Terror veteran has dedicated decades of his life to helping people. From serving as a Navy flight surgeon to working under the Secretary of Health & Human Services.

Throughout his campaign, he's championed the idea of bipartisanism, calling on Washington politicians to come together on issues like medication prices, improvements in education, better care for veterans, and other issues that both parties care deeply about.

You can find more information about Dr. Kermit Jones and his campaign on his website here.

Glenn Ivey

You'll be hard-pressed to find a non-congressman candidate more familiar with US law than Glenn Ivey. The Princeton alum has years' worth of experience working within the government and decades' worth of experience working in the legal system. He served as counsel to members of Congress such as John Conyers and Paul Sarbanes. For eight years he served as the State Attorney of Maryland’s Prince George's County, where he worked to protect victims of racial, economic, and domestic situations. As a member of his community, he's worked as head of a committee to reform their local police departments.

With the retirement of fellow Black Democrat Anthony Brown, Ivey seeks to take his knowledge of the law and put it to good use in the House of Representatives. And with endorsements pouring in from all over the state from state legislators, activist groups, and various city officials, it seems like he’s definitely wanted there.

Ivey's campaign thus far has focused on economic equality, fighting inflation, and police reform.

You can find more information about Glenn Ivey and his campaign on his website here.

These are only a few of many Black men and women across the country who are getting into government to change it for the better. In the end, it’s your decision who you vote for. But on November 8, you have the chance to put people of color in the halls of Congress to speak on your behalf.

1 Comment

James Siverson
James Siverson
Jan 04, 2023

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