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Elections 2006.


NEW JERSEY: This could be the race that keeps Congress in Republican hold, according to the Washington Post. Cuban American Bob Menendez (D) might lose the Senate seat to Tom Kean Jr. (R) because of corruption in the Garden State's Democratic party.

OHIO: The governor's race might go Republican--to Ohio's Black Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell. Many pundits believe that Blackwell, who is anti-choice and anti-gay marriage, handed the state to Bush in the 2004 presidential race.

NEW YORK: In Brooklyn, several Black candidates are running against a white city councilman for the House seat in District 11. As we went to print, Assemblyman N. Nick Perry, who is Black, dropped out of the race. He told reporters that he wanted to minimize any splitting of the Black vote, which could give a win to David Yassky, who is white. This seat has historical significance--it was held by Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress.

ILLINOIS: Congressional House District 10 has been traditionally Republican, but in 2004, voters elected Sen. Barack Obama (D). So Dan Seals (D), another handsome Black candidate, might have more than a fighting chance against incumbent Rep. Mark Kirk (R). Seals is running among mostly white voters and pandering pro-Israel talk to his Jewish voters.

LOUISIANA: In the greater New Orleans area, a battle is set to play out between Charlie Melancon (D), who won the Congressional House seat in District 3 two years ago with just a 569-vote margin, and Craig Romero (R). Both candidates are anti-choice, anti-gun control and anti-gay marriage. Romero's campaign staff refused to answer questions about his racial background, saying that "it's not a crux of his campaign" and hasn't been discussed. But he's not always so shy about discussing race--his campaign information packet emphasizes that District 3 could swing Republican now that many Black voters are gone.


MINNESOTA: Keith Ellison (D) is positioned to become both the first Muslim in Congress and the first Black House representative from Minnesota. He could make waves in D.C. with his unabashed support of immigrant and GLBT rights and his insistence on the "immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq." With support from labor, young voters and the Dems, Ellison looks poised to breeze through a September primary and nab the November election.

TEXAS: Even though local papers aren't paying much attention to Ahmad Hassan's (R) challenge to Sheila Jackson Lee's (D) Congressional seat, the Egyptian-American candidate is getting national press. As an immigrant with a pull-yourself-up-by-the-boot-straps message, Hassan calls for secure borders and says, "If you can't do it in America, you cannot do it anywhere else."

NEW YORK: Jeanine Pirro (R), who is Lebanese, ran earlier this year against Hillary Clinton, but quickly bowed out of that no-win fight. Now the former district attorney is set to lose big-time to Andrew Cuomo for Attorney General, but keep an eye on this candidate. Pirro has a "hard-on-crime" reputation, as well as the backing of state Republicans, and seems intent on getting herself on the national scene.


MISSISSIPPI: Congressional District 2, which is 60 percent Black and usually votes Democratic, could face a potential upset by the first Black Republican woman in a major race in Mississippi. While current Rep. Bennie Thompson (D) breezed through the June primary, local papers suggest not discounting Tchula mayor Yvonne Brown (R) as a contender in the November election.


ARIZONA: Suchindran Chatterjee (D), who prefers to be known as "Dr. Chat," is running for the U.S. House seat in District 2. On the current immigration debate, he's been the "Chatty Cathy," telling one paper that when it comes to immigrants, "We send them back. What is so hard about that?"

CALIFORNIA: Claire Yan (R) is another immigrant who, now that she has citizenship, believes in securing the border. The 25-year-old Chinese American is running for District 5, which includes Sacramento. Unsurprisingly, she's the author of the book Free to Learn: Lessons from Model Charter Schools.
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Author:Izen, Megan
Publication:Colorlines Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Previous Article:Raids and rallies.
Next Article:Setback to state-level protection for immigrants.

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