[ From Keith Boykin, USAToday.com | Black, Hispanic Duo a Test for U.S. Politics ] :
Supporters hail Kirk and Sanchez as "the dream team." The candidates -- both affluent, well-connected to the conservative Texas business establishment, and trying to appeal to a broad spectrum of voters -- deliberately eschew the label. "I'm not running as a Hispanic," Sanchez tells a reporter. "The fact that I'm African-American is irrelevant," insists Kirk.
Maybe it is to Texas voters, maybe not. But in terms of national politics, Sanchez and Kirk represent something unprecedented. Since 1879, there have been 1,864 members of the U.S. Senate; only 15 have been minorities. Of 2,200 governors, nine have been minorities. Most minority politicians who want to run for top statewide jobs have been discouraged by party leaders who fear they will hurt the ticket. Now Texas Democrats are turning conventional political wisdom on its head.
This is Texas. So they both have a snowball's chance in hell of winning. Whites will publically vow to vote for them, but once they're behind the curtain...
Reminds me of David Dinkins' two races for NYC mayor years and years ago.
Posted by ronn at September 17, 2002 08:33 PM