A.C. Cordoza is a 32-year-old Air Force veteran from Virginia who won a surprise victory over a Democratic incumbent last November. As a black Republican, he looked forward both to serving his constituents and building bridges with minority members of the legislature.
How naive. Last week, the Legislative Black Caucus rejected his application.
Louise Lucas, the Virginia Senate’s black president pro tempore, questioned why Cordoza even bothered applying. “We seem to have nothing in common,” she said. “Why would you want to be a part of a group where you know there’s going to be controversy?”
Cordoza later pointed out the questionnaire he’d been asked to complete “had little to do with being black and had more to do with being leftist.” The form asked about his three top environmental-justice priorities, whether he favored charter schools, and whether he would repeal laws limiting suits against police officers, and support pro-union legislation.
Cordoza: “I asked myself what any of those things mentioned have to do with being black. The answer is it has nothing to do with being black.”
Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, a Republican, a Jamaican immigrant, and the first woman of color elected statewide in Virginia, ridiculed the rejection, saying that maybe they should call it the “You’re Not Black Enough Caucus.”