Jahana Hayes could be the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress

By: Flomo Yarkpawolo

Jahana Hayes could be the first African-American woman to represent Connecticut in Congress if she wins in the general election. Hayes, a first-time candidate and a former 2016 National Teacher of the Year rose to fame following her selection for the award.

Hayes, 45-year-old, is on her way to become the first African-American woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. In a 62.2% to 37.8% landslide, Hayes defeated Mary Glassman in the Democratic Race for the 5th Congressional District to replace U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty. The 5th district includes New Britain, Waterbury, Danbury and most of Western Connecticut.

Glassman, who was the party favorite, is a well-known and established former Simsbury First Selectwoman. Surprisingly, she was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican-aligned voice for big business. The chamber almost never endorses Democrats and rarely intervenes in a Democratic primary. She was also endorsed by MoveOn and the local chapter of Our Revolution, the group formed in the wake of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign for president.

According to the Theintercept:

“The three disparate groups have never lined up together on a campaign, but they are doing so on the opposite side of Hayes, a black woman who grew up in a local housing project and captured national attention when she was named 2016 “Teacher of the Year.”

Speaking on Tuesday night, Hayes said:

"When we started this campaign 102 days ago, 102 days ago with no money, no network, no people, people told me I have no chance, and I had no business trying to do this, but tonight we proved them wrong. On November 6, we take back the House."

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