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Stop Calling Black Women “Long-Shot Candidates” | Refinery29

Lucy McBath, Lauren Underwood, African American Vote, African American Politics, Black Vote, Black Politics, Willoughby Avenue, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D, WRIIT,

It’s no secret that in 2018, women made history. A record-breaking 125 women were elected to the U.S. House and Senate, and many women who were previously considered “long-shot candidates” blew past the competition and became “firsts” in their own right.
At the heart of post-election analysis, a critical narrative emerged about who should run for office and why. As it turns out, women, especially women of color, were more than qualified to win in even the most unlikely races, such as in traditionally Republican districts. Newly released research has shown that women candidates were just as likely to win their races as their white male counterparts during last year’s midterms.

At the heart of post-election analysis, a critical narrative emerged about who should run for office and why. As it turns out, women, especially women of color, were more than qualified to win in even the most unlikely races, such as in traditionally Republican districts. Newly released research has shown that women candidates were just as likely to win their races as their white male counterparts during last year’s midterms.

Now, just weeks before critically important elections all over the country, the old narrative about what type of candidate can run successful campaigns and win tough elections has resurfaced. This bias is particularly apparent in the Mississippi race for attorney general.


Lauren Underwood

Lauren Ashley Underwood (born October 4, 1986) is an American nurse and politician who serves as the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 14th congressional district as a member of the Democratic Party. The district, which was once represented by former Speaker Dennis Hastert, is anchored in the outer western suburbs of Chicago, such as Crystal Lake, Geneva, Oswego, Woodstock, and Yorkville.

After growing up in Naperville, Illinois, Underwood received a degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and two master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University. She started her career as a policy professional in the Obama Administration in 2014 and later worked as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In 2018, Underwood was elected to the United States House of Representatives, defeating Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren. Upon her swearing in, she became the youngest black woman to serve in Congress.
Lauren Underwood


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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.

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