Wichita, for all its racial struggles, can take pride not only in having elected the first African-American to the Kansas Senate in 1964 but in continuing to send African-Americans to the chamber. The passing last week of that first pioneer, Curtis McClinton Sr., at age 99, highlighted the grocer’s service to his community and state, first as a member of the Kansas House and then, after spending $34 on his campaign, during four years in the Senate. State Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, went to the Senate floor in 2008 to hail what had started with McClinton, noting that “since 1964, with the exception of two years fulfilling an unexpired term, a senator of color has represented part of Sedgwick County.” McClinton once said of his time in the Legislature: “While Martin Luther King was marching in the South, we already secured civil rights legislation here.” In 2008, Sedgwick County also elected the first African-American woman to the Senate, Oletha Faust-Goudeau; she is up for re-election this year.
Registered?Commenting on WE Blog now requires you to be a Kansas.com member. Use the links above to register, if you haven't already, or to log in.
Do you tweet? Follow us on Twitter: @WE_Tweet.