I thought people might ask the question: What’s the proof about Maggie Lena Walker running for statewide office as a Republican? Well, here is an article from an online Virginia history with some details.
Apparently the GOP tried to in effect purge the African-Americans from the party to attract more white voters. So their regular slate was all-white (called the lily-white ticket) and several black leaders thought there should be a choice for African-Americans and whites of good will in the 1921 election. So this is what happened:
John Mitchell Jr., since 1884 the editor of a Richmond African American newspaper the Planet, argued that black voters were faced with three options. They could boycott the election and not vote at all. They could support the Democratic candidate, E. Lee Trinkle. They could nominate their own candidate. Mitchell opted for the third choice after being offered the top position. On September 5, 1921, a convention of about 600 black delegates in Richmond officially nominated an all-black Republican ticket. John Mitchell Jr. was the nominee for governor, Theodore Nash of Portsmouth for lieutenant governor, Maggie L. Walker of Richmond for the superintendent of public instruction, Joseph Thomas Newsome of Newport News for attorney general, Thomas E. Jackson of Staunton for treasurer, F. V. Bacchus of Lynchburg for secretary of the commonwealth, J. L Reed of Roanoke for State Corporation Commissioner, and A. P. Brickhouse of Northampton County for commissioner of agriculture. At the convention, Mitchell refused the label “lily-black,” to describe the ticket, and sought support from Republicans from both races. He insisted that he, not Anderson, was the true candidate for the Republican Party.
Alas the ticket did not do well at the polls, finishing third behind the Democrats and the regular Republicans. However, Walker was the first African-American woman to run for statewide office in the Commonwealth.
Let’s hope on November 5, Virginia makes history again by voting in the first Libertarian Governor – Robert Sarvis!