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Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

At a Q&A hosted by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, Senator Elizabeth Warren said the U.S. criminal justice system is "racist...front to back," the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Warren, a potential Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election, is hoping to pick up more support from the African American community, something Bernie Sanders failed to do in the 2016 election, per the AP. Richmond told the AP ahead of the event that the "biggest political frustration in the African-American community is that we have a bunch of Democrats" who "don't get it — the black experience, the black struggle."

Warren's home state of Massachusetts is largely white, with only 10% of the electorate being African American, the AP reports.

  • Former campaign aide for Sen. Bernie Sanders, Aneesa McMillan, told the AP that when it comes to black voters, "[t]here will be a search for someone they can hear and see and immediately identify with...it’s not impossible" for that to be a white candidate.

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.