- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Many black voters in the St. Louis area say they will be taking out their aggression at the ballot box this November over the handling of the Michael Brown shooting — by voting against the Democratic Party that they have long supported.

“Just because they’ve got the D next to their name, that don’t mean nothing,” Darren Seals, 27, of Ferguson, told The Washington Post.

He vowed to vote for a white Republican even though he’s never before participated in a local election. He said he’s angry things haven’t improved for the black community since President Obama took office.

“The world is watching us right now. It’s time to send a message of our power,” he told The Post.

His comments are part of a growing sentiment in the St. Louis suburb that has been rocked by unrest following the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

Voters have focused their attention on the St. Louis county executive race. Last month, a coalition of some 20 black Democratic leaders held a news conference to endorse Republican Rep. Rick Stream, The Post reported.

The Democratic candidate for county executive, county Councilman Steve Stenger, is unpopular among the local black community partly because of his ties to Robert P. McCulloch, the Democratic county prosecutor handling the Brown case.

“We’re not against the Democratic party,” Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said during last month’s meeting, a local CBS affiliate reported. “We’re against anyone who does things that are not in the best interest of our community.”

A Republican has not held the St. Louis county executive’s position in 25 years. Black residents make up about a quarter of the county’s population, but only typically account for 10 to 15 percent of the vote, The Post reported.

“The plan is not only to beat back a local candidate they view as particularly unfriendly to black residents, but also to present a show of force to Democratic leaders all the way up to Sen. Claire McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon,” The Post reported. “By switching their allegiance in this election, these African-Americans hope to demonstrate that their votes should not be taken for granted.”

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