How a Black Lives Matter Activist Beat an Anti-LGBTQ White Incumbant in a Kentucky Election

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Credit: Attica Scott

A black rights female activist beats a white male 34-year incumbent in the race for political office in the southern state of Kentucky. Sounds almost unbelievable, right? Well that’s exactly what Attica Scott, a community leader and health coach, did this year. And this is how she did it.

State congressman Tom Riner sat in the same seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives for the last 34 years. While a democrat, he’s known to be conservative on social issues and is loudly anti-LGBTQ rights and anti-women’s rights. But in 2016 his state congressional reign came to an abrupt end, and it was all because of Attica.

Attica recently talked to Vice on how she decided to run in the first place and the challenges she still faces ahead.

“People kept approaching me, telling me the person who was in office before me was out of step with the constituents in the district. After spending about a year or so pondering it and talking to a number of different people, I decided that I would file to run.”

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Credit: Attica Scott

She ran on an extremely liberal platform, explaining that she felt no choice but to be true to herself.

“It ended up being that I won by more than 50 percent in a three way race on that agenda and on that platform because that reflected the district, that reflected the people from the east to the west ends of my city, people who were black and white, who realized that we’re in the 21st century and we can no longer abide discrimination against any of us.”

But just because she won the battle, doesn’t mean she’s quite won the war yet.

I know that we’ve got 99 members of the house, and I’m the lone black woman. That, in and of itself, begs the question of what kind of racism and sexism I’m going to experience while I’m there. It also means that I have work to do to make sure that I’m not the only one, that I am reaching back and bringing other black women and Latinas with me.”

Read this next: Why You Need to Know About #SayHerName

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