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The High Profile Black Republican Candidacies of Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and Hall of Famer Lynn Swann

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Specifically, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of three statewide black Republican candidacies in 2006 in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. During the 2006 midterm election cycle, the Republican Party recruited and gave strong support to three high-profile African American statewide candidates. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and former Pittsburgh Steelers star and television sports broadcaster Lynn Swann campaigned for their state’s governorship in Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively. Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele vied for a vacated United States Senate seat in Maryland. After five decades of miserable levels of support from black voters and numerous initiatives to increase its share of the African American electorate, the GOP estimated that credible black Republican candidacies would substantially improve its image among African American voters and, thus, garner a larger share of the black vote. State Representative James White

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