Candace Owens says she’s thinking of running for president
Is the controversial conservative trolling or is she serious about a possible run?
Conservative commentator and author Candace Owens said via social media that she’s “thinking” of running for president. As reported by Fox News, Owens tweeted over the weekend that she was considering a presidential run although she wouldn’t be eligible until 2024 when she would be 35.
The Stamford, Connecticut native was a Democrat prior to 2017 when she changed parties to support President Donald Trump. That support dovetailed with her rise to prominence as a conservative activist, author, and commentator whose most frequent platform is Fox News.
It could be a high bar for Owens, who is viewed in the Black community as a pariah, given that the causes and people that she supports seem anathema to the interests of Black people and women. Although 75 million Americans voted for the eventual loser in the last presidential election, Democrats, led by Black voters in key states like Georgia, helped put President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris over the top.
Per data acquired by ABC News, 83% of Black voters identify as Democrats.
Owens would also have to contend with the impact of racism and misogyny in her own party, which has only appointed or elected one Black woman to any major legislative office. Mia Lowe was elected to Utah’s 4th Congressional District and served from 2014 to 2019, according to ABC News.
Subsequent efforts by Black Republican women to be elected to major political positions have fallen short. While there were 26 Black women elected to Congress last November, none were Republican. All 14 Black female Republicans who ran for office lost, as reported by The Hill.
However, Owens does have her supporters.
“I actually think she could go very far,” says Saagar Enjeti of Rising. “She has convinced a whole generation of boomer white donors that she’s singlehandedly transforming the Black vote for a lot of Republicans. Boomer whites, that’s the GOP constituency.”
Owens hasn’t said whether or not she was serious about an upcoming presidential bid or just trolling her enemies on the left. But some of her followers hoped she’d see it through. Owens didn’t quite tweet any follow-up, except to respond to this tweet from someone who didn’t think she had a legitimate shot.
Although Trump’s election proves that any checkered history is tolerable to some voters as long as it comes with rhetoric they like, Owens might prove difficult for Republican political strategists to sell based on her past.
In 2007, Owens and her family won a lawsuit in Stamford with the help of the NAACP, News One reported She alleged she was being racially harassed by a group of white boys who were the sons of then Stamford mayor Danell Malloy. After the NAACP got involved she was awarded $37,500. Ten years later, she’d call the NAACP “one of the worse groups for Black people.”
And in 2017, Buzzfeed revealed that Owens was once the CEO of the anti-Trump website Degree180 where she wrote that she hoped that the Republican Tea Party would “eventually die off.” The site fizzled in 2016, and not long after, Owens came out as a conservative via a YouTube video.
In 2017, Owens, who said then that she didn’t identify as a Republican, was asked about economic opportunity for Black people in an interview with Chicago’s Morning Answer. If she has a hope to reach any of them for a future presidential run, this may be part of her platform despite the lack of support she now receives.
“…That is largely my mission — to wake up the Black community. I think we’ve been sleeping. You can see with these groups like Black Lives Matter. It’s just encouraging Black people to be angry and to only focus on the past and that is never, ever, ever going to produce results in our futures. I’m happy to be a leader. The Black community needs new leaders, in general, so I’m always happy to weigh in about other issues just as Candace the person. But I’m also happy to be a new voice in the Black community.”
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