Black Republicans in Alabama Are Getting the Party Started

A look at the state's Black GOP political candidates.

A Record Number of Candidates - Historically, Alabama hasn't had the best track record on race relations. So, it may be surprising to some that in 2014, 11 Black Republicans are seeking elective office. In 2010 and 2012 there was just one. Meet nine of the candidates whose political fates will be determined on June 3. ? Joyce Jones (@BETpolitichick) (Photo: Julie Bennett/AL.COM /Landov

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A Record Number of Candidates - Historically, Alabama hasn't had the best track record on race relations. So, it may be surprising to some that in 2014, 11 Black Republicans are seeking elective office. In 2010 and 2012 there was just one. Meet nine of the candidates whose political fates will be determined on June 3. — Joyce Jones (@BETpolitichick) (Photo: Julie Bennett/AL.COM /Landov

Tijuanna Adetunji, Alabama House of Representatives - Tijuanna Adetunji wants to unseat incumbent state Rep. Alvin Holmes, an African-American Democrat, who represents a district in Montgomery. She is running on the issues of education, economy and the state of families. When asked why she's a Republican, she says it's "because I personally fear God and consider my values when voting. It so happens that the values of this party are in agreement with mine.? Adetunji owns a small business that provides insurance products and is a founding member of the Montgomery County Minority GOP.  (Photo: courtesy Tijuanna Adetunji)

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Tijuanna Adetunji, Alabama House of Representatives - Tijuanna Adetunji wants to unseat incumbent state Rep. Alvin Holmes, an African-American Democrat, who represents a district in Montgomery. She is running on the issues of education, economy and the state of families. When asked why she's a Republican, she says it's "because I personally fear God and consider my values when voting. It so happens that the values of this party are in agreement with mine.” Adetunji owns a small business that provides insurance products and is a founding member of the Montgomery County Minority GOP. (Photo: courtesy Tijuanna Adetunji)

Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, Alabama House of Representatives - Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, who is running for an Alabama House seat to represent a district in the Birmingham area, has a rather remarkable story. The native New Yorker was a married mother of two before her high school graduation and was later a divorced mother of three. That didn't stop her from going to college or earning a law degree in 2013. The Republican activist says she's running for office because "I have always been a results-driven, no excuses, problem solver. People want results and I must deliver. I am a conservative that will take action, work hard, and bring people together."   (Photo: courtesy Elect Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins.org)

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Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, Alabama House of Representatives - Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, who is running for an Alabama House seat to represent a district in the Birmingham area, has a rather remarkable story. The native New Yorker was a married mother of two before her high school graduation and was later a divorced mother of three. That didn't stop her from going to college or earning a law degree in 2013. The Republican activist says she's running for office because "I have always been a results-driven, no excuses, problem solver. People want results and I must deliver. I am a conservative that will take action, work hard, and bring people together." (Photo: courtesy Elect Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins.org)

Phillip Brown, Public Service Commission  - Phillip Brown, chairman of the Alabama Minority GOP, is running for a spot on the state's Public Service Commission, which oversees utility rates. ?I believe I will be a strong conservative voice for the rate payer in Alabama,? he said when he announced his candidacy. ?Alabamians need someone to be a voice for them, not the environmental or Montgomery special interests.? This is the first political race for Brown, who is an automotive technology teacher for the Jefferson County school system.   (Photo: Phillip Brown for Public Service Commission via Facebook)

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Phillip Brown, Public Service Commission  - Phillip Brown, chairman of the Alabama Minority GOP, is running for a spot on the state's Public Service Commission, which oversees utility rates. “I believe I will be a strong conservative voice for the rate payer in Alabama,” he said when he announced his candidacy. “Alabamians need someone to be a voice for them, not the environmental or Montgomery special interests.” This is the first political race for Brown, who is an automotive technology teacher for the Jefferson County school system. (Photo: Phillip Brown for Public Service Commission via Facebook)

Ralph Carmichael Sr., Alabama House of Representatives - Ralph Carmichael Sr. is running for a seat in the state House of Representatives to serve residents of Mobile. His primary campaign issue is education and feels so strongly about it that he has promised to donate part of his salary to it. "If elected I will pledge $10,000 of my (one year) state salary to support public schools. If I am reelected to a second full term I pledge to donate $50,000 of my state salary to local PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Let's work together and make Alabama #1 in education," he wrote in a Facebook post.  (Photo: Ralph Carmichael Sr via Facebook)

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Ralph Carmichael Sr., Alabama House of Representatives - Ralph Carmichael Sr. is running for a seat in the state House of Representatives to serve residents of Mobile. His primary campaign issue is education and feels so strongly about it that he has promised to donate part of his salary to it. "If elected I will pledge $10,000 of my (one year) state salary to support public schools. If I am reelected to a second full term I pledge to donate $50,000 of my state salary to local PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Let's work together and make Alabama #1 in education," he wrote in a Facebook post. (Photo: Ralph Carmichael Sr via Facebook)

Darius Foster for Alabama State Representative - Small business owner Darius Foster, who hopes to represent District 56 in Alabama's House of Representatives, says he is a "new face with new ideas." His platform centers on supporting small businesses, recruiting new industries to the district, increasing parental involvement in education, and prison sentencing reform. He is one of two Republican candidates for the Alabama House of Representatives who have been recognized by the Washington-based Republican State Leadership Committee as a candidate to watch in 2014. (Photo: Courtesy Darius Foster)

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Darius Foster, Alabama House of Representatives - Small business owner Darius Foster wants to represent the Birmingham area in the state House of Representatives. Foster, who has been appointed to serve on state commissions related to education and other issues, says he will bring fresh ideas to a district that has grown more racially and economically diverse. "I will build bridges not barriers," he says. "It's simply time for a new direction. Business as usual is no longer acceptable." (Photo: courtesy Darius Foster)

Katrina Wallace, Escambia County Commission - Katrina Wallace's bid for a seat on the Escambia County Commission is her first political race. Though a native of Alabama, the retired teacher lived in New Jersey for 42 years. She and her husband, who sits on the Escambia County Board of Education, joined the GOP when they moved back to Alabama. "They kind of welcomed us with open arms, and that was a change, being friendly and just open-minded," she told AL.com.  (Photo: Courtesy Katrina Wallace)

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Katrina Wallace, Escambia County Commission - Katrina Wallace's bid for a seat on the Escambia County Commission is her first political race. Though a native of Alabama, the retired teacher lived in New Jersey for 42 years. She and her husband, who sits on the Escambia County Board of Education, joined the GOP when they moved back to Alabama. "They kind of welcomed us with open arms, and that was a change, being friendly and just open-minded," she told AL.com. (Photo: Courtesy Katrina Wallace)

Sam Rowlin, Autauga County Sheriff - Sam Rowlin is an Alabama State Trooper running to become sheriff of Autauga County. It's his second bid for the office, but he ran four years ago as a Democrat.  (Photo: Courtesy Sam Rowlin)

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Sam Rowlin, Autauga County Sheriff - Sam Rowlin is an Alabama State Trooper running to become sheriff of Autauga County. It's his second bid for the office, but he ran four years ago as a Democrat. (Photo: Courtesy Sam Rowlin)

Bill McCollum, Fayette County Sheriff - Bill McCollum, a candidate for Fayette County sheriff, also is a GOP convert. He switched parties in 2002, AL.com reports, and has been the chairman of the Fayette County Republican Party executive committee for more than 10 years. The retired railway special agent is making his second bid to become sheriff after a failed campaign in 2002.  (photo: Courtesy Bill McCollum)

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Bill McCollum, Fayette County Sheriff - Bill McCollum, a candidate for Fayette County sheriff, also is a GOP convert. He switched parties in 2002, AL.com reports, and has been the chairman of the Fayette County Republican Party executive committee for more than 10 years. The retired railway special agent is making his second bid to become sheriff after a failed campaign in 2002. (photo: Courtesy Bill McCollum)

BJ Major, Cherokee County Board of Education - B.J. Major, who is seeking a seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education, became a Republican only last year. The reason, he said in an interview with AL.com, is that the nation has been "tilting too far to the left." Major also said that he believes most Blacks share the GOP's conservative views. "They just don't realize it," he added.   (Photo: Courtesy BJ Major)

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BJ Major, Cherokee County Board of Education - B.J. Major, who is seeking a seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education, became a Republican only last year. The reason, he said in an interview with AL.com, is that the nation has been "tilting too far to the left." Major also said that he believes most Blacks share the GOP's conservative views. "They just don't realize it," he added.   (Photo: Courtesy BJ Major)