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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 MooreFormer campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Mellman: When questions don’t mean what they say CNN's Toobin: It's Trump's ‘nature’ to not believe accusations of sexual assault 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 SewellDemocrats unite to expand Social Security Senate panel postpones election security bill markup over lack of GOP support Hillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down 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 TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report 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 WatersEx-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Pelosi heckled by Miami Republicans, Proud Boys at campaign event Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE (Calif.) and Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonTrump, Obamas and Clintons among leaders mourning Aretha Franklin Clyburn rips Trump over Omarosa 'dog' comment: 'I don’t know of anything that has been more troubling to me' Dem lawmaker calls Trump racist in response to 'dog' comment 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.