Ron Moten, ‘Civil Rights’ Republican


As Tim Craig first reported yesterday, activist and politico Ron Moten will be waging his campaign for the Ward 7 D.C. Council seat as a Republican — despite his steadfast support of Democrat Adrian M. Fenty and, well, the fact that there aren’t many Republicans in this town.

Moten explains in a Post op-ed that he’s actually a “Civil Rights” Republican:

Those who question my association with the Republican Party should look back on what it means to be a Civil Rights Republican. The fact is that African Americans have played a considerable role in shaping both major parties. Neither party has been perfect, but our involvement in each has brought about positive outcomes — for us as a people and for our country. Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglasswere Republicans. In 1870, when Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African American to vote under the 15th Amendment, he did so as a Republican.

During the civil rights era, African Americans changed their allegiance when they saw the Democratic Party embrace their struggle for socioeconomic enfranchisement. (I doubt Peterson could have imagined an African American reaching the pinnacle of U.S. politics as a Democrat.) But it is time for this chapter to draw to a close.

Moten’s embrace of the “Civil Rights Republican” label, it turns out, extends to his voter registration card — shown above.

UPDATE, 10/24: As noted in today’s edition of themail, the registration card Moten actually filed with the Board of Elections and Ethics does not include the “Civil Rights” notation.

The card pictured above was provided to me Friday by Paul Craney, executive director of the D.C. Republican Committee.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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