Three groundbreaking African American gubernatorial candidates are expected for a one-of-a kind panel discussion today during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 48th annual legislative conference in the nation’s capital.
Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia; Ben Jealous, the former NAACP president and Democratic nominee for Governor in Maryland; and Andrew Gillum, Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida, are the keynote panelists for the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project Gubernatorial Forum on Thursday.
The discussion will be held at 3 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, on Thursday, day two of the CBCF conference. ESSENCE is a media sponsor of the overall confab which features some 90 policy sessions and forums led by lawmakers and influencers.
According to campaign staffers, the candidates—whose individual Primary election wins have broken barriers—are expected to have a wide ranging discussion. It will entail their historic races, the future of the Democratic Party, and progressive policy ideas such as Medicare for all, investments in green, renewable energy and more.
If Abrams wins in November, she would be the first Black woman governor, ever, in U.S. history. If Gillum and Jealous are victorious, each man would be the first Black governor in their respective states.
While there was a Black governor during Reconstruction in the 1800s, only two African Americans have ever been elected governors in modern political times: the first was Doug Wilder of Virginia in the 90s; later came Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.