New Senate Will Have No African-Americans

In this Nov. 3, 2009 file photo Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill. is seen during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, the Senate ethics committee admonished Burris for making "inconsistent, misleading or incomplete" statements about the circumstances surrounding his appointment to the seat once held by Barack Obama. The committee didn't recommend any punishment. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

There is one African-American in the current Senate: Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, who was appointed to fill out the rest of Barack Obama's term after he was elected president.

In the new Senate there will be zero.

All three African-American candidates are projected to lose their races: Florida's Kendrick Meek to Marco Rubio, Georgia's Michael Thurmond to Johnny Isakson and South Carolina's Alvin Greene to Jim DeMint. (All three are Democrats.) Burris is retiring, and neither of the contenders to fill his seat is African-American.

Six African-Americans have served in the Senate. Along with Burris and Mr. Obama, they are (in reverse chronological order) Carol Moseley Braun (also of Illinois), Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, and Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels of Mississippi.

African-Americans are better represented in the House, where there are currently 41 black members.


Brian Montopoli is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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