PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Kathy Barnette, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, won a non-binding poll of Republican leaders in the northwest part of the state this weekend.
Barnette hopes to make history by becoming the Senate's first Republican African American woman.
While most African Americans identify with the Democratic party, Kathy Barnette does not. Her book entitled "Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America," lays it all out.
"Looking at the Black community as a petri dish of what happens when Democrats come in and take control of everything. And what you find when you walk into most predominantly Black communities is that Democrats leave them broke, broken and bruised," Barnette told KDKA political editor Jon Delano. "They leave a trail of chaos."
Barnette, a Montgomery County mother of two who ran unsuccessfully for Congress and is a popular commentator on certain cable news stations, says she grew up poor but never a victim.
"No one ever told me that because I'm Black, because I'm a woman, because I'm poor, all the odds are against me. And because nobody ever gave me a psychology of lack, I became the first in my family to go and finish college, spent ten years in the U.S. Military," she said.
In her race for the Senate, Barnette calls her three fellow Republicans who recently moved into the state to run – Dave McCormick, Carla Sands and Mehmet Oz – "carpetbaggers," and then she adds, "We don't need to send another rich person to D.C. to represent our interests. That should not be the litmus test. Or how many jobs you've exported from America to India or China, that should not be the litmus test, or whether or not your friendship with Oprah Winfrey or Michele Obama is really tight."
Barnette, who has won support from many Republican committee people in the state's regional party caucuses, says the average Republican voter won't be fooled.
"I don't believe they're going to fall prey to plastic smiles and glossy commercials. I think they're really paying attention," she said.
Barnette is trying to make history. The Republican party in this state has never nominated a woman for U.S. Senate, let alone an African American woman. She says she is hopeful to become the first.
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