Two days after being elected New Jersey's governor, Democrat Jon Corzine speculated out loud that he might appoint a woman to fill his unexpired Senate term. Then he singled out state Sen. Nia Gill, D-Essex, calling the black politician an "extraordinarily capable woman."Gill did not shy away from the hint."I have the qualifications," she told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "If I am chosen by Jon, I am more than qualified to rise to the occasion."If chosen by Corzine, Gill would become only the sixth black person and second black woman to serve in the Senate. New Jersey has never had a female or minority U.S. senator.
We're encouraged by signs that it is, indeed, fashionable to be Black and make a serious run for the Senate. And, since Obama's spot is blowing up, everybody is jumping into that fray. Let's hope a run for national office didn't just stop with the exposure campaigns of Jackson, Sharpton and Fulani. Now, we hope this translates into a substantial expansion of the Congressional Black Caucus (for what it's worth). Jersey and Maryland are looking fairly hot; we have to wait and see on Tennessee.