Barrack Obama was the last elected African-American US Senator. When he left the Senate in 2009 to become President, there were no African-American US Senators.
South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, the only
Republican African-American member of Congress, was appointed to fill
the South Carolina US Senate seat left vacant when Jim DeMint resigned in January 2013
to head the Heritage Institute. Soon Scott was joined by African-American
William "Mo" Cowan of Massachusetts who was appointed as Interim Senator
to fill John Kerry's seat when he became Secretary of State. It was
the first time ever there were two African-American US Senators at the
same time. Cowan did not seek election in special election in June 2013 when Ed Markey was
elected and took over Cowan's seat. Scott's seat will have a special election
if Booker wins, he will be the second African-American, the only
Democratic African-American, and the only elected African-American in the US Senate.
keep track of these things because several years ago I discovered it
was difficult to find out how many African-Americans are in Congress.
At that time I could find a list of all the African-Americans who'd ever
been in Congress, but that took a lot of time to sort through to find
out who actually was currently in Congress. It seemed the info I found
should be available to others, so I posted it.
sources are now more readily available, but I've been trying to keep my
list up-to-date. So when I saw mention that Cory Booker, the
Democratic candidate for US Senator in tomorrow's election to replace
Senator Frank Lautenberg who died in January, is an African-American, I
He's running against a Tea Party Republican, Steve Lonegan. The polls have put Booker well ahead, but a recent poll shows Lonegan gaining some ground. The Guardian's reporter sees little danger
for Booker though. But this is a special election on a Wednesday! If
the Tea Party is able to get all its members out and the overall turnout
is very low, who knows what could happen? But I can't imagine that the
Democrats are very aware of that and taking necessary measures.
Booker has a degree from Stanford and a law degree from Yale. Here's a complete bio.
And here is Lonegan's bio.