Doug Wilder knows something about historic firsts. In 1985, after serving several terms as a Virginia Senator, Wilder ran for lieutenant governor. It was a position many said he could not win, but Virginians elected him. Four years later, he ran for Governor and became the first elected African American governor in U.S. history. He became Mayor of Richmond in 2005. He reflects on the recent historic Presidential Election.
“Barack Obama’s Presidency is one of tremendous hope and inspiration to so many millions of people across our country and indeed the world. His Presidency represents a further ‘opening of the door’ so that opportunities can be there for individuals to pursue their dreams. It raises the bar for others to follow, yet this is not the beginning nor is it the end, but simply a continuum as we move forward.
“When I ran for Governor, as with Mr. Obama running for the Presidency, neither of us sought to ‘make history’ by making race an issue. Rather, we ran based on the merit of our qualifications. He himself has said, as have I, that we stand on the shoulders of so many others who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much over the years in order for our society to be where it is today.”
L. Douglas Wilder