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Black Women Seek to Bring Change to GOP

Originally published by Cheyanne McDaniels for The Hill

A new generation of Black women is seeking to bring change and diversity to the GOP as the party looks to broaden its appeal with constituencies that have long shunned it. 

While Black women have made history in numerous political areas over the last four years — including Vice President Harris, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sen. Laphonza Butler — most have been aligned with the Democratic Party. 

But in recent years, Black women have increasingly made inroads in the Republican Party, signaling a possible shift in the makeup of a party grappling with weaknesses among female voters and voters of color. 

“I looked at the Republican Party maybe how Frederick Douglass looked at the Republican Party,” said Kimberly Klacik, currently a candidate in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District.  

“The way the Democratic Party works, the way the system is, I just can’t get on board with it,” said Klacik, who previously ran in the state’s 7th district. “I think there’s much more freedom in the Republican Party.” 

According to a recent Gallup survey, Democrats’ lead over Republicans in Black Americans’ party preferences has dropped by almost 20 points over the last three years. And a December survey from GenForward found that if the election were held today, 17 percent of Black voters would vote for former president Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the party has struggled with female voters, especially in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law effectively banning the procedure in the state, underscoring the degree to which reproductive rights — a critical issue for female voters — will dominate political discourse heading into November.

Black female Republicans see an opportunity to reshape those perceptions of the party and help it appeal to both voters of color and women voters, two groups that will be pivotal in November.

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