Cynthia McKinney

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Cynthia Ann McKinney was a Democratic member of the U. S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 4th district from 1993-2003 and 2005-2007. On December 16, 2007, McKinney announced she would seeking the Green Party of the United States nomination for the 2008 election for president of the United States. [1]




McKinney was born March 17, 1955 in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California, a Masters of Art in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and she will complete her Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley.[1] McKinney's political career began in 1986 when her father, state representative Billy McKinney, submitted her name as a write-in candidate for a state house district. She received approximately 40% of the popular vote, despite the fact that she lived in Jamaica at the time. She returned to Georgia and was elected to the Georgia legislature in 1988 as an official candidate.

Shortly after her election to the Georgia State House, she joined with other civil rights leaders and filed a lawsuit that led to an increased number of black judges in Georgia.[2] In 1991, she spoke out against the bombing of Iraq during the Persian Gulf War, causing many legislators to walk out in protest at her remarks. [3]

McKinney's campaign biography describes her as "an outspoken leader for human rights; an ardent advocate for peace, and a determined worker for justice." [4]

Electoral History

In 1992 McKinney was elected as the first Congresswoman from the newly-drawn 11th District, a black-majority district stretching from Atlanta to Savannah. However, in 1995 the district was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court because the boundaries were unfairly based on race (approximately 64 percent of McKinney's constituents were black).[5] McKinney asserted that it was a racially discriminatory ruling given the fact that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that Texas' 6th district, which is 91 percent white, was constitutional. Her district was renumbered the 4th and redrawn to take in almost all of DeKalb County. The new 4th was no less Democratic than the old 11th, and McKinney was easily reelected from this district in 1996, 1998 and 2000.

In 2002, McKinney was defeated in the Democratic primary by Denise Majette, then a DeKalb County judge. McKinney felt she was