GOP struggles to recruit black voters, candidates


SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — Like an eager date, Leo Smith showed up at Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Smyrna, Georgia, with a bouquet of flowers in hand.

He isn't looking for love. He's looking for voters.

Smith is minority engagement director for the Georgia Republican Party. That puts him on the front lines of an effort to recruit African-American voters in key states.

It's a priority for a heavily white party watching as the United States becomes more brown.

Smith and other black Republican recruiters say there are plenty of black conservatives out there. They just don't want to be identified publicly as conservative or Republican.

Getting African-Americans and other minorities on board is a priority for the GOP in part because the number of whites in the U.S. is shrinking.

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