Several states are holding primary elections Tuesday (June 5) that are of interest to the Black community.
Arguably at the top of the list is the district attorney race for Sacramento, California. The competition between incumbent Anne Marie Schubert and Noah Phillips has received lots of attention because of the police killing of Stephon Clark. He was the 22-year-old Black man who was unarmed when two Sacramento police officers gunned him down in a hail of at least 20 shots in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18.
Schubert is a law-and-order conservative who has the backing of law enforcement. Eyebrows were raised when she received $13,000 in campaign donations from two law enforcement unions just five days after Clark’s death. Her opponent, a deputy DA, has a reformist agenda with plans to fix the criminal justice system, including demands for police accountability for wrongdoing, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Meanwhile,Pamela Price, the Black candidate for Alameda County, California district attorney, is fending off an alleged “race-baiting” attack from the Oakland police union.
The Oakland Police Officers Association’s political action committee sent out an email blast on May 26 against Price that targeted Oakland’s non African-American residents, the East Bay Times reported. The message stoked fears that crime (supposedly committed by Blacks) will get out of control if Price is elected.
Price, a civil rights attorney, has vowed to enact a series of criminal justice reforms if she wins the election against the incumbent DA Nancy O’Malley, who is white. The two candidates are in a tight race, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Alabama is another state that’s grabbing a lot of attention because about 36 Black women are running for various offices, ranging from state board of education and public service commissioner to U.S. House of Representatives.
In one of those races, Audri Scott Williams is competing in the Democratic primary to represent Alabama’s Second Congressional District. Williams, a 62-year-old political novice, received the Service to Humanity award from President Bill Clinton for her work in global religious freedom. Williams decided to run for office after President Donald Trump won his election. Her opponent, business analyst Tabitha Isner, is also a political newcomer. The winner will take on former Democratic Congressman and Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright who’s now running as a Republican.
In Mississippi, state Rep. Omeria Scott is running for the U.S. Senate. If she beats her Democratic rivals, Scott would become the first Black woman elected to the Senate from Mississippi. To compete in the November general election, Scott must first beat five fellow Democrats in the primary race on Tuesday.
One race to watch in New Jersey pits progressive candidate Tanzie Youngblood against conservative Democrat Jeff Van Drew. Youngblood, a retired Black teacher, received support from national Democrats until Van Drew jumped into the racefor New Jersey’s Second Congressional district after the incumbent Republican decided not to run. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided to back Van Drew because the district has conservative leanings. This is just one of several races nationwide in which progressive Democrats are vying for a Democratic nomination against an establishment candidate.
In New Mexico, eyes are on the race for Bernalillo County sheriff. Sylvester Stanley, who retired from the sheriff’s department as a captain, is running again against the incumbent Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III. After the sheriff’s office, Stanley, who is African American, served as police chief for Gallup, Isleta and the Jicarilla police departments, according to Albuquerque Journal. The winner will take on Republican Lou Golson, a retired Albuquerque police officer, in November.