June 6, 2004 at 4:07 PM EDT - Updated June 28 at 4:00 AM
More black Republican candidates are running for office in Georgia this year than ever before. And black candidates in other Southern states are also finding that declaring for the G-O-P is more accepted than it was just a few years ago.
It's a small shift that Republican activists say could pay big dividends if it continues.
That may be why the Republican National Committee has an office dedicated to courting black voters and candidates, and has several blacks running in high-profile races around the South.
So what's driving some blacks to abandon the party most closely associated with civil rights to join the more conservative political group?
One possible factor is the improving economics of black households.
Experts say another factor is that many younger voters aren't as connected to the Civil Rights struggle, and many also feel that Democrats have taken them for granted for years.