Texas congressional candidate Wesley Hunt (R) believes the economy and inflation will lead to a “big red wave, particularly when it comes to Black and Brown people” this midterm season.
Speaking to NBC’s Zinhle Essamuah on Sunday, Hunt said Black excellence is needed everywhere and that Black Republicans can bring change to the Black community.
“At least we’re in the room to at least add some color, if you will,” said Hunt, who is favored to win his race in a new Texas district.
A record 178 Black candidates are running this year as Republicans. Though Black voters make up a large voting bloc for Democrats, Republicans in recent years have been expanding their messaging to communities of color.
“Black people are not monolithic, we can think for ourselves,” Hunt tweeted on Monday. “The Black Americans running and voting Republican this November know that our country is headed in the wrong direction.”
A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that about 17 percent of Black voters said they would vote for a Republican congressional candidate over a Democrat, an increase from previous election cycles.
While many Black voters harbor conservative values, Tasha Philpot, professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Hill in July that Black conservatism doesn’t often translate to support for Republicans because of racially conservative policies that can be “downright hostile” to African Americans.
Hunt told Essamuah that “there’s extremism on both sides.”
“What I’m really focused on are actually the policies that are going to raise us from the situation that we’re in right now,” he said. “People are really having a hard time putting food on their table, that’s what a majority of people are focused on right now.”
Hunt, a former U.S. Army captain and Iraq War veteran, faces off against Democrat Duncan Klussmann, the former superintendent of Spring Branch Independent School District, in the race for Texas’s 38th District.