Mid-term elections in the United States: The Haitian community wakes up timidly

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

The Haitian community in the United States seems to want to be aware of its ability to represent itself in the various spheres of American power. From the North to the South, candidates of Haitian descent delivered an extraordinary performance in the mid-term elections on November 8, 2022.

In Florida, Representative Sheila Cherfilus McCormick humiliated her Republican opponent Drew-Montez Clark. The lawyer of Haitian origin obtained 72% of the vote against 28% for her rival.

With this victory, the congresswoman will have the opportunity to complete her first term in office. She was elected in a special election in January 2022 following the death of Congressman Alcee Hastings.

Another important victory for the Haitian community in Florida is that of Marleine Bastien. A strong advocate for immigrant rights, Ms. Bastien’s efforts have paid off. She won the election for the position of city councilor (commissioner) in the second district of Miami Dade. She defeated former North Miami Mayor Philippe Bien-Aimé by winning 59% of the vote against 41% for her opponent.

In North Lauderdale, Haitian-born Samson Borgelin defied predictions by winning 53.2% of the vote, beating the Cuban-born candidate who received 42.4% of the vote.

For her part, the Republican candidate of Haitian origin Alexandra Compère won the election with 9076 votes (62.1%) against 5,529 (37.9%) for Leroy Edwards. She will be the next City Commissioner in Clay County’s second district.

In Miami’s 105th district, Marie Woodson was re-elected as State Representative with 70% of the vote to Republican candidate Vincent Parlatore’s 30%.  In the August primary election, Dotie Joseph won to become State Representative for District 108.

In the state of Colorado, Haitian-born Lunie Joseph won the election in the city of Boulder to become a member of the city commission in the tenth district. She crushed her Republican opponent William DeOreo with 88.7% of the vote to the loser’s 11.3%.

In Rhode Island, Aniece Germain won the election in the Second District to become a member of the Cranston City Commission. She defeated Republican John P. Colosante.

In New York City, Phara Souffrant Forrest won the election in District 57 with 67.1% of the vote to Olanike Alabi’s 32.5%. Dweynie Esther Paul also made history in the state where she was re-elected as a judge in the Second Judicial District of the New York Supreme Court.  For her part, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn was easily re-elected to the 42nd district of the New York State Assembly. A position she has held since 2015. Born in New York in 1972 to Haitian parents, Dweynie Esther Paul holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the prestigious NorthWestern University.

The Haitian community is also represented in the State of New Jersey. Stanley Neron was elected to the Board of Education in Elizabeth City.

Other important votes were won in the state of Florida by candidates of Haitian origin in the primary elections held in August 2022. Lody Jean was elected as a judge in Florida’s 11th Circuit while Fred Seraphin won Group 5 in Miami Dade County.

In Massachusetts, for the first time, a Haitian Rutzee Louijeune won the 2021 election for Alderman in Suffolk County in the city of Boston.

These results will certainly please the National Association of Haitian American Elected Officials (NHAEON), which was quick to congratulate the new elected officials from the November 2022 elections.

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