| November 27 2019,

8:59 pm

The 2020 election cycle is gearing up to be a contentious contest between Democrats and Republicans. The call for increased representation for marginalized community members, at all levels of government, has helped produce an increasingly diverse pool of candidates.

Not to be erased, black immigrants are among the many aspirants for public office in the upcoming elections. Here is a list of black immigrants who are running for seats in 2020:



1. Ilhan Omar


Omar will be defending her seat as representative of Minnesota’s 5th District in the U.S. House. She is a former refugee from Somalia who fled the country with her family because of civil war, settling in the U.S in 1992. She entered the national political scene as one of two Muslim women and the first Somali-American in Congress with her win in 2018. She has championed for many progressive policy proposals and legislation.

2. Wilmot Collins

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Also a former refugee, this Liberian-American is currently the mayor of Helena, Montana and is making a bid for U.S. Senate in 2020. Collins escaped Liberia in 1994 during the civil war and resettled in Montana with his wife. His historic win in 2017 made him the first black mayor in the state’s history. Collins is running as a Democratic candidate taking on Republican Senator Steve Daines. A resident of Montana for 24 years, he has served as an educator, veteran, and social worker.

3. Dotie Joseph

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The Haitian-born, Miami-raised attorney is running for reelection as representative of District 108 in Florida’s State Legislature. Winning in 2018, Joseph has a long history of public service in and out of Miami, advocating for many issues including human and civil rights. She represents one of the most diverse areas of Miami-Dade County.

4. Derek Obialo

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A resident of Fort Bend County, Texas, Obialo is a Nigerian-American running as Democratic candidate for 400th District Court Judge. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1994 and settled in the Houston area. As an attorney, he has built his own law practice which specializes in business and construction litigation.

5. Scherie Murray

Murray is a Republican candidate challenging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th congressional district. A Jamaican immigrant, she moved to the U.S. at age nine and settled in Queens. Murray is a businesswoman and remains active in New York’s Republican party politics.

We'll be watching these candidates as we get closer to Election Day next year. 




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