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Kenneth Paschal Is The First Black GOP In Alabama Legislature Since The Reconstruction Era



Retired Army Sgt. Kenneth Paschal is a remarkable man who holds the distinction of being the first Black GOP to be elected to the Alabama Legislature since the Reconstruction era of the 1860’s and the 1870’s. 

Earlier this month, the Republican army veteran was elected to a legislative seat in the district of Shelby County, where a predominantly-white crowd welcomed him on the day of his oath-taking.

“The voters of District 73 didn’t choose me because of the color of my skin. They got to know me. They saw a God-fearing man of integrity who values and defends our Constitution,” Paschal said in a statement.

Paschal served in the U.S. Army for almost 21 years and held the rank of sergeant before his retirement. He now resides in Shelby County and has worked for the Alabama Family Rights Association for 11 years. Upon retirement from military service, he immediately decided that the Republican Party is where he belongs due to his conservative views.

Paschal, who is a member of the First Baptist Church of Pelham, will be the only Black Republican in the Alabama Legislature, but he is, however, not the first black lawmaker to join the GOP in modern times. Former Tuskegee Mayor announced in 2003 that he will be switching to the Republican Party, a move that would make him the first Black Republican in the Alabama Statehouse since Reconstruction.

“With the current posture of our country, I think it is perfect timing, too. The Lord has prepped me to deal with the turbulence, and hopefully, I can break that barrier. It should not be about color, but you do want to have diversity on both sides of the aisle. People shouldn’t be given a position, especially an elected position, because of the color of their skin. At the same time, we do need diversity within the Republican Party” Paschal said in a recent interview with Alabama conservative news site Yellow Hammer.

“Alabama is one of the best places to live when it comes to the people. I love Alabama because it is one of the best places to raise a family. What I love about it is that my family is here, and it is a good place to live. The cost of living is good compared to other states. In Shelby County, we have good school systems, and our population increases year after year,” Paschal added.

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