The largest county in the state of Texas has made history.
19 Black women running for various judicial seats outed their Republican opponents, making this the biggest electoral victory for Black women in U.S. history.
Less than 20 percent of state judges are women of color, according to the American Constitution Society. The women elected into the judicial seats in Harris County will increase racial diversity on the bench, but also could have an effective role in bail reform and housing cases.
According to Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston:
“It’s going to have a profound impact on things like bail reform because up until this election we still had several Republican judges fighting some bail reforms.”
“Now you’ve got people who hold progressive positions on a host of issues relating to minority rights and the role of race and ethnicity in the criminal justice system, so you’re going to have more favorable opinions towards cases where there are claims of racial profiling or bias.”
The Guardian reported, Erica Hughes wrote via Facebook:
“We want to definitely turn Harris County upside down in criminal justice reform”
A photo of the women went viral with the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic, becoming apart of the “Black Girl Magic” campaign.
The ladies range from the ages of 31 to their early 60’s, starting January the ladies will fill their post for four-year terms in criminal, family, civil, and probate courts.
“Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I’d become a part of a club of phenomenal black women, sister-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong; everything I hope to be!” via LaShawn A. Williams, Facebook
The Black women that won are, Judge Maria Jackson, Judge Ramona Franklin, Angela Graves-Harrington, Sandra Peake, Cassandra Holleman, Germanie Tanner, Dedra Davis, Tonya Jones, Lori Chambers Gray, Sharon Burney, Linda Dunson, LaShawn Williams, Lucia Bates, Michelle Moore, Shannon Baldwin, Erica Hughes, Latosha Lewis Payne, Toria Finch, and Ronnisha Bowman.