Black Republicans seek Fulton offices | www.myajc.com

17
May

Black Republicans seek Fulton offices | www.myajc.com

Cory Ruth got his first taste of politics in middle school, when his civics teacher summarized Democratic and Republican Party platforms on the chalk board.

Ruth said he was drawn to the self-determinism and Christian conservatism he saw in the Republicans. Only later did Ruth, who is black, realize many African Americans didn’t share his fondness for the GOP. Still Ruth has stayed true to his beliefs – now as a candidate for the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. And he isn’t the only black candidate who shares those views.

Ruth is one of three African-American Republicans running for the commission in the May 20 primary.

Their candidacies may be long shots. The county is a Democratic stronghold; 64 percent of voters favored Barack Obama in the last presidential election. Ruth faces some well-financed Republican opponents in the race for north Fulton District 3. The other two black Republicans – Earl Cooper, who is running for chairman, and Abraham Watson, running in south Fulton District 6 – have no Republican opposition, but will make their first runs for office against established Democratic politicians.

Democrats don’t seem worried that Republicans will make significant inroads among African Americans, who cast 40 percent of Fulton County ballots in the 2012 general election. A 2012 NAACP poll of black voters in four battleground states found only 14 percent would consider voting for Republicans if they were committed to civil rights.

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