CALIFORNIA BLACK MEDIA–As election day approaches, the race for California governor is getting closer. Last week, Rasmussen Reports released a poll indicating that Jerry Brown (D) was slightly ahead of Meg Whitman (R) by one percent (47% vs. 46%), with three percent of California voters still undecided.

In response to the first gubernatorial debate between Whitman and Brown, African American leaders across the state of California commented on how the African American vote will affect the race between the two candidates.

Alice Huffman, President, NAACP
“The Brown-Whitman debate was a classic representation of both parties–a Republican (who) stands for business and not conscious about welfare for the little people, and a Democrat who cares about providing protection and services for everyone. My advice to African Americans is to listen to the stance on immigration, conservative judge appointments and welfare; this should be a red flag for African Americans.”
Norma Baker, Ed.D. President Voices for African American Students
“Based on this debate, it appears that neither candidate is focused on addressing the crisis of African American students in K-12 public education. My suggestion for both an candidates in the next debate is to discuss their plan on how they will address this crisis and close the achievement gap for African American students.”

Celes King IV, Vice Chairman, Congress of Racial Equality of California
“Whitman clearly shows she is going to balance the budget on the backs of middle class and the poor. We have lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs because of corporate heads downward harmonization of labor. Neither candidate addressed the huge disparities in employment and education for African Americans. This race will boil down to the candidates doing a better job in articulating their plans and how African Americans fit into their equation.”