Black GOP lawmakers hold ‘Congress, Cognac, and Cigars’ event in key swing state

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Black GOP lawmakers hold ‘Congress, Cognac, and Cigars’ event in key swing state

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Two of former President Trump’s top allies in the House of Representatives are in Atlanta on Wednesday to mobilize Black voters ahead of his November rematch with President Biden.

Reps. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, and Byron Donalds, R-Fla., are hosting an event called “Congress, Cognac, and Cigars” at a cigar lounge in the Peach State alongside former ESPN host Sage Steele.

An invitation to the event obtained by Fox News Digital billed it in all capital letters as “a real conversation about the Black male vote, leadership, and how they will impact the 2024 election.”

Hunt told Fox News Digital in an interview that Black voters, particularly in a state like Georgia, are going to be “paramount” in deciding the winner of the next presidential race.

Rep. Wesley Hunt, left, and Rep. Byron Donalds are hitting the campaign trail to turn out Black male voters for former President Trump. (Getty Images)

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“The thing is, in the past, the Republican Party has not done a very good job of going to these communities, articulating why our policies are in the best interest of the Black community,” Hunt said. “Black issues are American issues. We just need voices to go articulate that.”

“You don’t have to vote for Democrats anymore because your mama and your grandmother and your parents told you to do it. The Republican Party right now is in your best interest. If you hate what’s going on at the border, if you hate what’s happening with inflation, if you hate crime, I’m telling you that … electing [Trump] and getting him back in office is definitely going to be in your best interest.”

It’s part of a wider strategy for Trump to win 25% to 35% of the Black male vote, Hunt said. Black voters were critical to Biden’s 2020 Democrat primary and general election victories and will likely play a critical role in the fall race.

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President Joe Biden

President Biden did significantly better with Black voters than Trump in 2020. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Multiple exit polls show Trump having won 19% of Black male voters in 2020, though the vast majority of Black voters still went for Biden.

“That’s the highest that we’ve ever seen in modern history for a Republican president,” Hunt said. “We need to add about five or six percentage points and grow from what we did four years ago. And given the environment that we’re in right now, we think we can accomplish that.”

Their first “Congress, Cognac, and Cigars” event took place in Philadelphia. Hunt said the next one would be in Milwaukee, the site of next month’s Republican National Convention.

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Person at a voting booth

Hunt said the Black vote will be critical to deciding who wins the presidency. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

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Hunt said the previous event showed him that Republicans could potentially make some headway with Black women, who overwhelmingly voted for Biden in 2020 as well.

“The biggest takeaway from that event is – again, Byron and I have been really focused on Black men, but there were Black women in that room that raised their hand and stood up and said, ‘Don’t forget about us. I’m a Black woman, I’m voting for President Trump, and I’m fed up with this, too. And I’m not saying you’re going to get as many of us as you are men, but what I am saying is, don’t just cater these events to Black men; cater them to the Black community,’” the lawmaker said.

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