Illinois Loses African-American Senate Seat

By Andrew Greiner
|  Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010  |  Updated 10:48 PM CDT
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Seeing Red: Republicans Who Could Reshape Illinois Politics

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Illinois has a history of sending African Americans to the senate.

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With help from GOP Senate nominee Mark Kirk, Illinois could go red in 2010.

Or Alexi Giannoulias could help the Prairie State stay blue.

But one color is sure to change: Black.

Two white candidates are now competing for a senate seat that has been held by a black politician for 11 of the last 17 years.

Carol Mosely Braun occupied the seat between 1993 and 1999. Barack Obama held it between 2004 and 2008, and Roland Burris took it over in 2009.

If Harold Ford Jr. doesn’t win his primary fight against Kirsten Gillibrand in New York – Ford is polling behind the upstate Democrat – the United States Senate will once again be peopled entirely by anglo-saxon men and women.

Of course, we've been here before.

There have been only four black senators elected to the august governing body since reconstruction.

Three of them were from Illinois. The fourth, Edward William Brooke III, hailed from Massachusetts.

Results:  Illinois 2010 Primary Elections

Full Coverage:  Illinois Elections 2010

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