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9 Black Women Elected As Judges in Alabama

In an unprecedented event, nine Black women were elected as circuit and district judges in Jefferson County, Alabama during the November 2016 elections. The judiciary officials were sworn in this month.

The Democratic sweep came as a surprise for the predominantly Republican state, as Alabama is one of the few states where judges still have to run on party lines to get elected.

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According to the Birmingham Times, Javan Patton, Debra Bennett Winston, Shera Craig Grant, Nakita “Niki” Perryman Blocton, Tamara Harris Johnson, Elisabeth French, Agnes Chappell, Brendette Brown Green and Annetta Verin (who won uncontested) were elected to the positions.

“I just think it’s great. Jefferson County is a majority Democratic County. They turn out to vote, they’re capable of electing qualified individuals,” former president of the Jefferson County Progressive Democratic Council Emory Anthony said.

Anthony called the event “a proud moment” and said those elected can pave the way for the next generation.

“I feel honored…that I’m allowed to be the chief law enforcement officer and I understand that I have a lot of work to do,” Olive-Washington said. “I welcome it.”