Gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell today announced Black Entertainment Television (BET) host and former NAACP national youth director Jeff Johnson has joined his campaign team. Johnson will serve as the campaign's advocate to young and urban voters.
"Jeff Johnson is one of the most influential leaders of his generation," said Blackwell. "I am proud he has joined my campaign team as we embark on this historic endeavor."
"Ken Blackwell represents the very best that Ohio has to offer in this year's gubernatorial race," said Johnson. "My feelings reflect the position of many within Ohio's African American community who believe that Mr. Blackwell has a clearer vision for Ohio's diverse Black community. I will carry the message that it is time to challenge the antiquated political alliances which have failed to include young and urban voters in their policy agenda."
Johnson is considered the voice of a new generation of leadership. He engages viewers on issues ranging from violence to voting on BET's "Rap City" on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m.
This is a strange mix, one must admit. We're not certain what to make of this, since Johnson doesn't strike us as the GOP-type. But, it's a very savvy, smart move on the part of the Blackwell campaign, which will need to find a creative way to make serious inroads with Ohio's extremely active Black political and voting community. This might be one of those moves. The candidate who successfully engages the Black vote in Ohio (particularly in strongholds like Dayton, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnatti) is winner in November. Our 2006 prediction had Blackwell losing, primarily due to Black voter rage over his part in the 2004 Presidential race. If done right, hiring Johnson could change that in a big way ...