Two Of The Youngest Black Republicans Ever Were Just Elected In Connecticut
Edward “C.J.” Ford, Jr. and Tyrell Brown are each only 20 years old.
December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm
At only 20-years-old each, Edward “C.J.” Ford, Jr. and Tyrell Brown have been elected into positions in Middletown, Connecticut that make them the two youngest black Republicans ever to be elected in that state!
The two were voted into their new jobs just one day after Middletown's first black schools superintendent, Michael Connor, began his tenure in the district, the Hartford Courant reports.
On November 7, Ford was elected to a board of education seat while Brown was was elected as an alternate on the planning and zoning commission. The two hope to make an impact in their hometown, and to help change people's ideas about black Republicans.
“When I talk to other African Americans and other minorities, they do have some conservative values,” said Ford. “We can be a party that really takes in people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Me running as a Republican, I’m glad I was able to bring that whole question and that concept to light more.”
Middletown is a diverse community, and in the last few elections, has seen more women and minorities entering its government. However, while the community has a strong Republican base, diversity in government has been mostly brought by the Democratic Party, until now.
“In the Republican party there are many different people,” Ford explained. “There’s a level of diversity there I believe many people are unaware of because of the norms we have that we expect a Republican to look a certain way or talk and act a certain way.”
“I had no idea we had accomplished this milestone,” said Brown, who has been friends with Ford since high school. “It really does go to show that no matter how old you are, if you have a drive, the motivation to go out and do something, whatever you’re seeking to do you can just go out and do it.”
Although this is the pair's first experience with official government, Brown and Ford served as president and vice-president of their high school class, and joined the Republican Town Committee last year.
Both young men are for traditional conservative values such as religious freedoms, lower taxes and less intrusive government, but say that they decide their respective beliefs beyond that are on an issue-by-issue basis. For example, Brown supports a sizable chunk of the Affordable Care Act.
As part of their new duties, Brown and Ford are working on more effective outreach to minorities, given their shaky ground with the Republican party as a whole.
“The Republican party needs to do a better job communicating with minorities on a local level and a national level,” Brown said. “After the current administration for the next four years or eight years or whatever it is, the party needs to re-evaluate itself. At the end of the day I am a conservative and I will vote that way.”
Fox News and other conservative outlets have already begun feting Brown and Ford as the future of their party. The duo were well-received on Fox and Friends, and have impressed older Republicans with their policy knowledge.
“They’re both young, determined men who want to make a difference in Middletown,” said Republican Town Committee Chairman William Wilson. “I think they both have a future in politics if they want it. They are, in my opinion, what we want in young Republicans in Middletown. They’re our future.”