ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Some in the Republican party in the city of St. Louis are hoping the candidacy of Andrew Jones, an African-American utility company executive, will cause other African Americans to rethink their allegiance to the Democratic party.
Longtime Republican James Hill is also African American. He says Jones’ run was a good thing, because there hasn’t been a contested Republican primary for mayor in nearly two decades.
“I have friends who are African-American whose elected official is a Democrat, and they tell me that they feel they aren’t part of the Democrat party, and they say how they go out and work hard every day, and they tell me all the time they get no respect,” Hill says.
He says Republicans aren’t all bad and Democrats aren’t all good, but Democrats have done a better job of getting their message into the black community.
On the issues front, Hill believes African Americans over the age of 55 are pro-police and want more security.
Hill also says he is getting more calls from African Americans in St. Louis telling him they’re really Republicans now, saying the change in leadership in the state has made them realize that it might be a good time to switch parties.
“A lot of African Americans have realized this, that Republicans are controlling the state of Missouri on the state level and also on the federal level, and so a lot of them are realizing that maybe this is a good time to change to be a Republican,” he says.
While many church leaders in African-American communities are preaching responsibility and are anti-abortion, he says they remain largely Democratic, but he believes they vote against their own best interests.
The bottom line, Hill believes not just Andrew Jones’ candidacy, but Republican leadership in the state, may cause more African Americans to reconsider the Republican party.