Jamaican seeking to make history in US elections
The November 3 United States general elections could be a history-making one for Jackie Gordon.
Running on the Democratic ticket in the 2nd congressional district on Long Island, a win for Gordon would create a number of firsts. She would be the first Jamaica-born person to sit in the US House of Representatives, the first person of colour to represent that congressional district, and the first female to be elected from that district.
Gordon attended White Marl School in St Catherine. At age seven, she migrated with her parents to the United States, settling in Hollis, Queens, New York. She attended school in Queens and later attended Hunter College and Queens College, earning her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
With the strong level of service instilled in her by her parents, Gordon enlisted in the United States military, where she served for 29 years. She was also an educator in the New York school system for almost three decades.
Noting that her father was a member of the Kiwanis Club in Jamaica, Gordon said that sense of service is what motivated her to dedicate herself to the service of others.
“On my many visits to Jamaica I would participate in community activities, especially those promoted by the Kiwanis Club,” she said.
“My childhood in Jamaica taught me to help others and the importance of community. I want everyone to know my roots ring true in every decision I make, and every step I take. I want every little girl growing up in Jamaica to see my candidacy and election as an inspiration for what she can achieve and a platform to ensure she reaches her dream. I wear my Jamaican heritage as a badge of honour, and I will continue to do so as I walk the halls of Congress,” Gordon said.
She lauds her Jamaican roots as a defining facet to the woman she has worked to become.
It is that same sense of service, she said, that has motivated her to offer herself as a candidate in the 2nd congressional district in Long Island. The district is made up of some 725,000 people, covers parts of Southeastern Nassau County and Southwestern Suffolk County.
The 2nd congressional district has never elected a woman to the US House of Representatives and the seat is currently held by Republican Peter King, who has been in the seat since 2013 before deciding not to seek re-election this year.
Gordon is hoping not only to break the male dominance in the congressional district representation in congress, but also to turn the district Democratic.
Inspired to lead
“I believe that my candidacy is one of inspiration as I am the first black female to seek the seat,” she said.
The district is only nine per cent black and 22 per cent Latino.
Despite this, Gordon is confident that she will prevail in the November 3 elections. Her campaign got a boost over the weekend when she was endorsed by the Long Island Newsday newspaper, the largest newspaper serving the community. Gordon has seen a transformation in the district and this has also inspired her confidence.
“For me to be a candidate in the district speaks to how much the district has changed. It shows the changes we are making and will continue to make. I’ve built my campaign in response to the hard-working families I hope to represent.
I am running to keep healthcare and prescription drug costs down and protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. To grow economic opportunity, push for tax relief, protect our veterans, and to secure a brighter future for our children by fortifying our schools, supporting our teachers, and empowering families to seek the tools they need to be successful,”she said.
Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Gordon said she is primed for leadership and ready to represent Jamaica and the United States proudly.