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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 MooreShelby won't run for reelection The Seventeenth Amendment and the censure of Donald Trump Doug Jones joining CNN as political commentator 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 SewellCongressional Black Caucus unveils '100 Day Plan' Six ways to visualize a divided America Lobbying world 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 TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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 WatersLawmakers, Martin Luther King III discuss federal responses to systematic racism The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds MORE (Calif.) and Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Capitol Police report warned that Congress could be targeted three days before riot Democrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help 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.