Part of the election process is waiting for ALL ballots to be counted before announcing a winner. After NINE days of counting and verifying all record-breaking 3,412,381 ballots (Arizona-wide) representing a historical 79.71 percent voter turnout, the election is now over. PhxSoul.com would now like to extend our congratulations and thank-yous and offer next steps for the work ahead, because the marathon continues.
PhxSoul.com congratulates all of the Black candidates who won their races:
- Kamala Harris, Madame Vice President-Elect
- Reginald Bolding, Jr., Arizona House of Representatives for District 27
- Corey Woods, Mayor, City of Tempe
- O.D. Harris, Chandler City Council
- Christine Ellis, Chandler City Council
- Gail Knight, Balsz Elementary District Governing Board
- Redeem Robinson, Balsz Elementary District Governing Board
- Muktar Sheikh, Balsz Elementary District Governing Board
- Dr. Torrence Watkins, Laveen Elementary School Board
- Kiana Sears, Mesa School Board
- Lawrence Robinson, Roosevelt School District Governing Board
- Shelley Jackson, Roosevelt School District Governing Board
- Berdetta Hodge, Tempe Union High School District
- Travis Angry, Arizona Senate, District 4
- Walter Blackman, Arizona Senate, District 6
First of all, Thank You, Readers! PhxSoul.com would be remiss if we did not first thank all of you who read, shared, retweeted, and re-posted our primary and general election guides and engaged with us through comments, tips, emails, texts, and lively debates. Because of the wide-spread popularity of our political work, we received national attention from the Chairman of the National Democratic Party, Tom Perez, and even the Madame Vice-President-Elect, herself. Stay tuned, more to come.
Thank You, Black Candidates for running for office to improve our democracy and increase representation, no matter the party. We celebrate you and hope to see you again soon.
Thank You, Black Arizona for showing up in historical and record numbers at a reported 60% voter turnout!
Thank you, Our Vote Our Voice and many others who worked boldly and tirelessly to increase voter education and turnout in our community.
And last, but certainly not least:
THANK YOU, BLACK WOMEN! Nationally, Black women carried us across the finish line at a grand 90 percent voter turnout for Biden and our first Black Madame Vice-President. Compare this to the 55 percent of white women who voted for Trump, nationally.
PhxSoul.com hereby recognizes November as BLACK WOMEN MONTH. If you see a Black woman, buy her a coffee (or a Birkin or a stock option) and tell her thank you for saving us, ONCE AGAIN (first, make sure she is one of the 90 percent, not the 10 percent). Thank you, queens!
THE MARATHON CONTINUES
Unfortunately, we only have cause for limited celebration. Arizona as a whole did not show up for the local candidates who spoke out against racism and who ran on inclusion, equity, and justice for all. Many of the candidates who won local office are the cause of the problems we have faced in the Black community in Arizona.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is still overwhelmingly white and male. Jevin Hodge and Whitney Walker would have been the first African Americans to serve on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. While they narrowly lost their races, the current board composition remains the same: all white men and one Latino man. This is the same board who supported Trump’s irresponsible rants on gun reform.
The Maricopa County Attorney is still overwhelmingly white and still actively criminalizing us. The current county attorney and winner, Allister Adel, still has zero diversity in her leadership ranks. While people were casting ballots for this race, she had the audacity to begin prosecuting Black and brown protestors as gang members for exercising their first amendment rights to protest police brutality. Felonizing Black and brown people for simply speaking up for human rights is a loud message to anyone who may choose to speak out against police brutality in the future. And no, the Trump supporters with their semi-automatic weapons who protested all last week at the Recorder’s office were not charged with any crime, let alone a felony. This would not be happening if Julie Gunnigle had won. This is a powerful example that our votes matter and a vote could save a life and a livelihood.
Maricopa County got it right for the Sheriff. Sheriff Paul Penzone won with a historical 1,095,775 votes cast in favor of his election. This is the highest number of votes ever cast for a county officer in the history of Maricopa County. This was a resounding rejection against Arpaio’s former second-in-command, Jerry Sheridan.
The wide-spread losses in our local races shows us there are many against (or, apathetic to) our advancement, health, and safety and there is much work to be done in the off-season. The offseason starts NOW. We must show up for ourselves and find allies who will stand with us.
In 2022, Arizona will elect a new Governor and U.S. Senator Mark Kelly will be up for re-election (he is currently serving the balance of Senator McCain’s term). Potential candidates are already gearing up for the governorship.
In 2024, we will have another opportunity to elect candidates for these same local offices. The work to discover who would best represent us begins now in the off season.
Who do you want to see run for these offices? Is it YOU? Drop it in the comment section or email us. The time to celebrate, promote, and help prepare a candidate is NOW, not on the eve of an election.
PhxSoul.com will continue to ensure elected officials provide meaningful representation to Black citizens and all citizens through the amplification of local issues affecting black citizens and support of Black candidates and other candidates who look out for our community.
Visit recorder.maricopa.gov to find the General Election results.