Dianne Dodson Black, the first Black woman to ever run for Congress in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, secured the Democratic nomination on Tuesday night in a victory against opponent Hunter Avery, the Associated Press reported.
Black, a cosmetologist and beauty salon owner from Byhalia, Miss., in Marshall County, will face incumbent Republican U.S. House Rep. Trent Kelly in the November general election; he defeated opponent Mark Strauss in the Republican primary Tuesday night by a roughly 9-to-1 margin.
On her website, Black says she was “inspired by President Obama” to run for public office.
“Dianne wants to bring her experience as a small business owner to Congress to advocate for Mississippians. Dianne wants to be a yes vote in Congress for Mississippians for the Biden/Harris Administration’s ‘Domestic’ and the ‘Build Back Better’ agenda,” her website says.
Kelly has opposed much of Biden’s domestic agenda, voting against the president’s infrastructure package, which he claimed included “reckless spending on liberal priorities that come at the expense of American taxpayers and farmers.”
Other parts of Biden’s domestic agenda that Black says she supports include an extension of the expanded child tax credit and the John Lewis Advance Voting Rights Act of 2021, which Kelly voted against. The Democratic nominee says on her website that she supports forgiving all federal student loan debt under $50,000.
Black describes her platform as the “Biden/Harris domestic agenda” and says she wants to support legislation to combat climate change and protect abortion rights; Kelly opposes abortion rights.
In 2020, Kelly beat Democratic opponent Antonia Eliason in a 69%-31% rout.
The 1st Congressional District includes 21 counties in northern Mississippi: Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, DeSoto, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Lowndes, Marshall, Oktibbeha, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster and part of Monroe County.
The general election is on November 8, 2022. Voters may vote for any candidate they choose in the general election regardless of whether they voted in the party primaries or which party primary they voted in.