WTVM 10/3/14 Editorial: The Georgia 5

Clockwise from top left: Doreen Carter, Connie Stokes, Valarie Wilson, Liz Johnson, Robbin Shipp.
Clockwise from top left: Doreen Carter, Connie Stokes, Valarie Wilson, Liz Johnson, Robbin Shipp.

(WTVM) - Have you heard of the Georgia 5?

For the first time in this state's history, five black women will be on the ballot this November, running for statewide office in Georgia.

Former state senator Connie Stokes is running for lieutenant governor. Doreen Carter is up for Secretary of State. Liz Johnson is on the ballot for insurance commissioner. Valarie Wilson hopes to be the next state school superintendent. Robbin Shipp is running for labor commissioner.

Across the entire country, only two black women now hold statewide office, a state treasurer in Connecticut and the attorney general in California.

If all of the Georgia 5 win in November, Georgia will vault to the top in a stunning success for black women elected to serve in state government.

The Georgia 5 are all Democrats, and Georgia is still a largely Republican state.

But the fact that these women are all on the ballot at the same time, in Georgia this year, proves just how far the state has come in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.

Another milestone just happened in Georgia right here in Columbus, when Aflac named Teresa White the first African American woman to serve as president of its US operations.

There will come a day when these events no longer make news…when black men and women routinely run top U.S. corporations or occupy the office of governor around the country.

It's an idea that seemed inconceivable 50 years ago.

For Georgia to be leading the way is especially sweet. It means progress in racial equality is really happening.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
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Columbus, GA 31906

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