Even without Watts, 2006 is shaping up to be the “year of the black Republican,” says the Evans-Novak Political Report. Five other black Republicans will be running for prominent offices. Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and former Detroit councilman Rev. Keith Butler will be seeking U.S. Senate seats; while Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels and former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann, a Pennsylvanian, will be running for governorships. Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman has been pushing to recapture the black vote, which has gone overwhelmingly for Democrats since the 1960 presidential election.