To be Black and conservative in a blue state

by Ann Clanton, Contributing Writer, “Speak Up”

If Republican financial advisor, Allen Waters, overcomes the insurmountable odds and beats U.S. Senator Jack Reed, D-RI, on November 3rd, he will make history as the first African American to run for the Senate and go to the upper chamber from Rhode Island. He is the first to seek the office from the Grand Old Party (GOP) since Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Brooks from New England.

Since announcing his run in January, the Classical High School and University of Rhode Island graduate has attacked the senior Senator’s platforms on social media and with recent ad buys, primarily over the airwaves. Running as a Republican in a state that is predominately blue, with pockets of red, is a battle that the Republican candidate welcomes. He believes that as Rhode Island’s electorate becomes more diverse in cultures and positions on issues, there is room for a conservative Republican of color.

“My mere presence in the political process sends a much-needed message to POC – people of color,” says Waters. People of Color, African Americans, have an opportunity to vote for a candidate who is knowledgeable of the cost of milk and bread for a family, versus concern over the United States’ standing in the world.

While this first-time Rhode Island candidate supports President Trump and will vote for him on November 3rd, Waters is neither for or against the administration’s stance for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. You cannot leave people hanging with pre-existing conditions,” says Waters.

Growing up the son of a city of Providence policeman, he is unabashedly supportive of law enforcement and the “Blue Lives Matter” movement. He was critical of Senator Reed for not denouncing the protest in the city of Providence during the summer that resulted in vandalism to the downtown area of Providence and Providence Place Mall.

“I think he’s a fresh face. He’s new, and he’s got a compelling story. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.” says his campaign manager, Micholas Credle.

An October Real Clear Politics poll shows Senator Reed’s seat is safe. However, there is evidence of politicians — especially white, male politicians with long tenures in Congress or ties to the establishment — running into trouble in recent years. The determined Republican Senate candidate continues in his quest to carry the mantle as a black conservative for Rhode Island voters.

For information on the Allen Waters Campaign go to


Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principle of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.

Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.

Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.