Arizona sees uptick in number of black candidates
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More than two dozen African Americans are running for office in Arizona this year, an uptick in candidates that political observers say could be tied to increased engagement and political parties’ efforts to groom new leaders.

The Associated Press reports that at least 30 African Americans are running for various seats, from school boards to the Arizona House, in a state where African Americans make up 4 percent of the population.

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“I think a culmination of what’s happening nationally, and what’s happening locally, has really inspired people to say that this is a new day and a new era for African-American leadership,” state Rep. Reginald Bolding (D) told the AP. 

Bolding, who is one of two African-American lawmakers currently serving in the 90-person state legislature, said the effort wasn't limited to one area in the state.

“You have African Americans running all throughout the state of Arizona, not just south Phoenix where you’ve historically had African Americans running,” he said.

The majority of African-American candidates are running as Democrats, which the state party chalks up to its efforts to reach out to communities of color.

“I believe that’s one of our greatest advantages as a party, that we are so inclusive that everybody has a voice,” state Democratic chair Felecia Rotellini said.

A July Washington Post-Schar School poll found that Democrats have a sizable enthusiasm advantage over Republicans heading into the midterm elections.