Tonight, the GOP has elected to Congress:
1st Southern black Senator
Yep, I still don’t know how folks embed pictures of tweets. But anyway, this requires some annotation for accuracy.
“1st Southern black Senator” — since Reconstruction! (The black Southern Senators back then were Republicans too, of course.)
Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels, (R) Mississippi. Freeborn. Barber, AME minister, Civil War chaplain, organized 2 regiments of soldiers for the Union. Took office: Feb. 23, 1870. Left office: March 3, 1871 at the end of his senatorial term. (He was filling an empty slot created by the resignation of Senator Albert C. Brown when Mississippi seceded. He was not elected by popular vote, but his appointment was voted upon by the Mississippi legislature.)
Blanche Kelso Bruce, (R) Mississippi. Manumitted slave. Attended college at Oberlin. Printer’s devil, schoolteacher, steamboat porter, school principal, farmer and landowner. Took office: March 4, 1875. Left office: March 3, 1881. Full-term senator.
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, (R) Louisiana. Freeborn. Cabin boy, hotel porter. Organized a Union regiment of Louisiana free blacks who had served in the Louisiana militia before the Civil War and was commissioned a captain. Organized his local ward’s Republicans after the war. Louisiana state senator and state Senate President pro tempore. Newspaper owner. Director of New Orleans public schools. Acting governor of Louisiana. Elected to the US House and Senate simultaneously. Conceded the House seat in order to serve as a Senator. Elected senator, but never seated, due to an incredibly disputed election.
Moving to the present day:
Tim Scott is currently junior senator for South Carolina (R), but as an appointment by the governor to fill a slot. But yes, yesterday he won his Senate seat by election and indeed, became the first elected black Senator in the South since Reconstruction.
Re: the honorable ladies listed up above, you can read about all the female Republican newbies in this article.
Just as an aside:
It was pretty amusing that when that roots show last week revealed that Valerie Jarrett had as maternal ancestor one Charles E. Nash, a black Louisiana congressman, Gates went out of his way never to say the word “Republican.” Srsly?