JULIANNE MALVEAUX

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam is as dull as they come.

Listening to him speak is about as exciting as watching paint dry. But he’s a Democrat who is mostly right on the issues, he served as Lieutenant Gov. under the charismatic and focused Terry McAuliffe, and President Barack Obama came to Virginia to campaign for him. The result—he won the November election by double digits, defeating Republican Ed Gillespie whose campaign descended into racist ads reminiscent of our current President. Ninety-one percent of the African American women who voted in this election voted for Northam. We’ll see if he recognizes this voting bloc when he takes office.

Despite the fact that a recent poll indicated that African American women are less enamored with the Democratic Party than ever, we remain a reliable Democratic vote. Hillary Clinton garnered 94 percent of our vote in 2016, while 53 percent of White women voted for a man who boasted about grabbing women by the genitals. But Black women rarely get the respect or recognition that our votes indicate we deserve. Our vote is too often taken for granted even when it makes a major difference in elections.

There is lots of good news from the 2017 elections. In New Jersey, State Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver is lieutenant governor elect. The longtime legislator, and once Speaker of New Jersey’s lower house, will be part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s cabinet as Commissioner of Community Affairs. In Virginia, Justin Fairfax is lieutenant governor-elect. The dynamic young African American attorney is the first African American to win a statewide election since Gov. Doug Wilder. Interesting, though Northam garnered such a large number of Black women’s votes, his treatment of Fairfax wasn’t always above-board. In one piece of endorsement literature, Fairfax was left off. Of course, there were subsequent apologies, but it will be interesting to see if Northam gives Fairfax as much responsibility as Murphy is giving Oliver in New Jersey. There are lots of other victories.

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