Will African-Americans be part of the effort?
(Stephen Lackey, an African-American Republican strategist. Photo: Courtesy Stephen Lackey)
As part of the GOP's effort to grow more diverse and win elections, the Republican State Leadership Committee has formed the Future Majority Caucus to support and elect women and minorities at the state level.
Ed Gillespie, who served as a senior campaign adviser to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, will head the organization with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval serving as honorary co-chairs.
"The Future Majority Caucus has brought together key leaders in communities across the nation to implement a long-term and sustained engagement plan with Hispanic candidates, Asian and African-American candidates, and candidates of diverse backgrounds to elect and grow a new generation of Republican leaders," Martinez said Wednesday.
But while FMC claims it will cast a wide net, its board is made up exclusively of leaders of Latino descent, begging the question of how committed the Republican Party is to attracting African-Americans or whether they're an afterthought.
"I cannot speak for all Black Republicans on the subject, but I can say there is some conversation about the targets of GOP outreach," Stephen Lackey, an African-American Republican strategist, told BET.com. "No group is an afterthought to the GOP and especially not African-Americans. However, African-Americans do wish to see very focused outreach programs from the party that are sustained and meaningful."
According to Lackey, Black Republicans around the nation are working at the grassroots level to encourage their friends and families to at least consider the party as an option and on developing political candidates. He also said that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has been talking with people in and out of the party to figure out ways to appeal to and attract Black voters and potential politicians.
"There is growing disappointment with the president's lack of focus on issues specific to African-Americans, and I think there is a great opportunity for the GOP to step up, fill in the blanks, and ensure African-Americans succeed within their communities," Lackey added. "If community success becomes our outreach target, we will see more and more individuals join our ranks in the coming years."
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