It has been almost one year since Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-Miami) announced he would run for the United States Senate in 2010. Meek, a 1989 Florida A&M alumnus is poised to become the first African-American to represent the ‘Sunshine State’ in the Senate.
Following the election of President Barack Obama, the U.S. Senate was left without an African-American in the upper chamber. That was until Obama’s successor, Sen. Roland Burris (D-Illinois), was appointed to fulfill the remainder of his term. Having announced he will not seek re-election, Sen. Burris will leave the Senate without any African-American representation.
This is the reason Congressman Meeks’ bid is so important. The GOP’s nominees are Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Florida State House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Meek, who is qualifying for the race by petition, is busy taking his campaign straight to the doorsteps of voters. The democratic field has been cleared, setting up a sure victory in the primary. However, this will not be an easy campaign.
Then again, progress is never easy.
Florida has not had two sitting Democratic Senators in the U.S. Senate since 1989. With Sen. Bill Nelson(D-Florida) already in Washington it makes the race even tougher. Not to mention, the Democratic Party is already fighting to hold on to seats in both the House and Senate in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Nonetheless, Kendrick Meeks’ run carries with it historic proportions. Besides being the first African-American to represent Florida, he would also be the first African-American senator to represent a southern state since the Reconstruction.
With the diversity of Florida, now is the time for Floridians to once again make our mark on history with the election of Congressman Meek.
Obviously, I am not supporting Kendrick Meek just because he’s African-American. I am supporting him because I believe he will be the best person to represent Florida in the US Senate. He will work hard to fix Florida’s economy, get people back to work and ensure families can keep their homes. Having had the opportunity to meet the congressman on several occasions, I can tell you that he is tough, pragmatic, and wise.
His record speaks for itself. From Social Security and Medicare to education and immigration, he has stood on the front lines of democracy and always fought for Florida. That was the story of his leadership when he was first sent to campaign Congress, and it is a story he will continue to tell when he is elected next November.
America will always be a work in progress, and with Kendrick Meek, we are sure to take another bold step. He has stood by Florida, and now, Florida and FAMU must stand by him. I encourage everyone to be on the right side of history, and support our fellow Rattler during his campaign.