Kiana Maria Sears (267105)

Condolences to the people of Arizona, who over the weekend lost one of the most storied Congressmen of our time – Sen. John McCain, who succumbed to cancer sometime Saturday, Aug. 25). The former Vietnam POW (prisoner of war) had two runs at the presidency, once against George Bush (for the Republican nomination in 2000) and once against former President Barack Obama (2008). McCain, one of the few Republicans known to stand up against Donald Trump, asked that both Obama and Bush deliver eulogies at this funeral in Washington, D.C., while former VP Joe Biden will deliver the eulogy at the funeral in Arizona. The same day that Sen. McCain lost his life, several networks ran a story about how a greater number of African Americans are running for public office in the state. According to CBS News, at least 30 African-Americans are running for offices this year, a milestone that some political observers say is a result of increased engagement and a new pipeline of leadership. State Rep. Reginald Bolding is one of two African-American lawmakers currently serving in Arizona’s 90-person state Legislature. He and other political watchers say more African-American candidates are running compared to past cycles — and it presents the opportunity to more than double the number of African-Americans in the Legislature. “I think a culmination of what’s happening nationally, and what’s happening locally, has really inspired people to say that this is a new day and a new era for African-American leadership,” Bolding said, citing the successes of President Barack Obama, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris. African-Americans make up about 4 percent of the population in Arizona, a state once noted in the late 1980s for its refusal to enact the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. In 1992, voters approved a ballot initiative creating the holiday. Tuesday’s Arizona primary finds African-American candidates running for seats on school boards, city councils and other local offices. Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans is running for re-election, and at least four people are vying for Justice of the Peace seats. In the state Legislature, Bolding and state Rep. Geraldine Peten are seeking re-election. Four Democrats and one Republican are seeking to join them in the state Legislature. On the federal level, Democrat Garrick McFadden is in three-way primary for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District that covers eastern suburbs in Maricopa County. “You have African Americans running all throughout the state of Arizona, not just south Phoenix where you’ve historically had African-Americans running,” Bolding said. Arizona has a population of about 7 million people, but only about 287,000, or 4 percent, are Black, according to 2016 data from the American Community Survey. The state’s Native American population is comparable at 296,000. About 2 million residents are Hispanic or Latino and 3.8 million are white, the data shows.