Alabama elects first Black Republican to House in 140 years

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Retired Army Sgt. Kenneth Paschal, the first Black Republican elected to the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction, speaks before his swearing in ceremony in Pelham, Ala., on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Paschal said his victory in a heavily white, suburban district shows that the GOP “is open to everyone.” (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Retired Army Sgt. Kenneth Paschal has become the first Black Republican elected to the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction.

54-year-old Paschal on Tuesday won the special general election to fill House District 73 which was vacated when Matt Fridy joined the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

Paschal defeated Democratic candidate Sheridan Black.

He will represent the Shelby County district in the heavily Republican suburbs south of Birmingham. Paschal served nearly 21 year in the U.S. Army.

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