Record number of black women running for office in Alabama after Roy Moore defeat

Record number of black women running for office in Alabama after Roy Moore defeat
© Greg Nash

A record number of African American women are running for Democratic office across the deep-red state of Alabama following Republican Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreDoug Jones: Carmakers 'scared to death' over Trump tariffs Dems face tough road ahead in Deep South Republicans should give middle class another 10 percent tax cut MORE’s defeat.

More than 35 black women have launched campaigns or reelection runs, an unprecedented number the party has never seen before, according to NBC News.

"Alabama is not a state that is known for electing women to office, so, in some sense, this is surprising, historic and much needed," said Richard Fording, a professor of public policy at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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Some said they were “electrified” after Democrat Sen. Doug Jones won his special election Senate race against Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls. 

An overwhelming majority — 98 percent — of black women took to the polls to ensure Jones's victory. 

Other have said the "Me Too" movement has empowered them to enter politics, making sure women are a part of the policymaking process to fight against sexual harassment and assault, said Rep. Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellDeGette dropped from chief deputy whip spot Black Caucus chairman pushes back against committee term limits Dems vow quick action to bolster voting rights upon taking power MORE (D-Ala.).

Sewell is a four-term congresswoman running for reelection.

“It's so important that we step up, that we show the nation that we can lead," Jameria Moore told NBC News. “That, here in Alabama, we're ready to lead our state into the future."

Moore is running for judge in Jefferson County Probate Court, a district that has been becoming progressively bluer in recent years. 

When former President Obama was elected 10 years ago, “it showed black people can be elected,” said Richard Mark, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party.

Last year, nine black women were elected as judges in Jefferson County.

Quentin James, the founder of Collective PAC, said President TrumpDonald John TrumpReturn hope to the Middle East by returning to the Iran Deal Government shutdowns tend to increase government spending 'Full Frontal' gives six-bedroom house to group that works with detained immigrants MORE has also motivated black women to take on leadership opportunities. The group focuses on helping African-American candidates in local and state races.

"You have a president who attacks black women," James told NBC News. “They're fed up, we're fed up, and … it's crucial we have more voices on the public stage to fight back."

Trump often feuds with Democratic congresswomen Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersFive challenges facing new consumer bureau chief Democrats must stand up for Israel The Year Ahead: Tough tests loom for Trump trade agenda MORE (Calif.) and Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonOcasio-Cortez fires back at Conway: She has 'engaged in a War on Facts since Inauguration Day' Frederica Wilson: I never got an apology from John Kelly Conway says Ocasio-Cortez is '29-year-old who doesn't seem to know much about anything' MORE (Fla.).

Trump has recently gone after Waters, and accused her of having "a low IQ." 

"This place that was so resistant to change, where, now, a group of women who were looked down upon and dealt first-hand with the vestiges of slavery and segregation are the ones who can lead us forward — it's monumental," James said.