Started at the The Chronicle as a night police reporter in 2000, after moving to Augusta from Lynchburg, Va. The following year, joined the Special Projects team. In 2003, covered the invasion of Iraq as an embedded reporter with the Augusta-based 319th Transportation Company. Served as the Society of Professional Journalists' Georgia Sunshine Chair from 2007 to 2009. After Sylvia Cooper retired in 2008, spent a little over a year as the newspaper's city government reporter, writing The City Core both as a weekend print column and as an online blog. This year, joined the newly-formed Public Service team.
Posted September 16, 2009 07:42 pm - Updated September 16, 2009 10:16 pm

Bowles: I'm being threatened, too

It seems Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason isn’t the only elected official in Augusta receiving threats.

Mr. Mason said at his monthly constituent breakfast last weekend that a “local millionaire” sent him threatening e-mails back in May, which turned out to be from non-millionaire real estate broker Joe Edge. Livid that the trade, exhibit and event center wasn’t moving forward, Mr. Edge wrote, “I will do everything I can to ensure you don’t get re-elected if the commission does not change their mind,” and, “You should really consider the consequences of how this will affect the city of Augusta and your re-election chances.”

Questioned by The Chronicle, an unapologetic Mr. Edge said he’ll go so far as to make a campaign donation to Mr. Mason’s opponent.  

Now Commissioner Joe Bowles tells The City Core he’s being threatened, too. Banker Joy B. Mitchell-Booker and teacher Cleveland O’Steen, both residents of Mr. Bowles’ district, are engaged in blatant attempts to remove him from office.

There’s both a paper trail and motive. A few weeks ago, they each paid a $360 qualifying fee to the Board of Elections, which means that on Nov. 3, their names will be on the ballot along with Mr. Bowles. The commissioner is concerned that such activities jeopardize his ability to represent District 3 next year.

Could it be that Ms. Mitchell-Booker and Mr. O'Steen disagree with Mr. Bowles' views and positions, and are therefore trying to affect his re-election chances?

A review of Board of Elections records shows Mr. Bowles is the only commissioner being targeted in such a way.