Election moves forward without Blocker-Adams

Candidate's votes won't be counted in mayoral results after withdraw

Monday, May 19, 2014 10:06 AM
Last updated Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:20 AM
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The statewide general primary and nonpartisan election will move forward today without Augusta mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams.

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Michael Villalba helps Anne Gomillion load up polling supplies at the Board of Elections warehouse.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Michael Villalba helps Anne Gomillion load up polling supplies at the Board of Elections warehouse.

Blocker-Adams formally withdrew from the race early Monday, Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said.

The move means any votes cast for her in advance or on Election Day “are considered null and shall not be counted,” Bailey said.

Notices will be placed in each precinct today to inform voters that though her name is on the ballot, Blocker-Adams is no longer a candidate.

Her decision leaves four remaining mayoral candidates: Charles Cummings, state Sen. Hardie Davis, Com­mis­sioner Alvin Mason and Lori Myles.

In a four-paragraph statement, Blocker-Adams said she awakened at 3 a.m. Sunday with the realization that “I could not be an effective mayor.”

“Even if I stayed in the race and won or was in a runoff, they would continue to work toward running my name into the ground, and I don’t want that for
my family,” the statement said.

Last week, one of Blocker-Adams’ creditors provided to news media copies of three unpaid Aiken County court judgments against her from more than a decade ago exceeding $70,000.

Subse­quently, The Augusta Chronicle became aware of more than 40 eviction or dispossessory notices served against her since 2005, when she first ran for mayor.

After the reports, Blocker-Adams announced Thursday that she was “suspending” her campaign but did
not formally withdraw, meaning her votes would be counted.

Any votes now for Blocker-Adams won’t be counted and won’t appear in ballot totals, although turnout in other races will give an indication of the level of support she had, Bailey said.

Blocker-Adams, who billed herself as an entrepreneur and pro-business candidate, said that “this past week has been the worst in my life, and as horrible and painful as it was, it
showed me in the past 20 years I have been too prideful, too independent and in denial about my personal finances.”

She said she hadn’t been “transparent” with her campaign team, which
denied having advance knowledge of her financial issues.

“I will make right by every debt I have incurred. I will work to mend the trust that I have lost and rebuild the relationships that were damaged,” she said in her statement. “I appreciate every single vote that may have already been cast for me, and now it is time to do what is best for the city I love, Augusta, Ga.”

Blocker-Adams said she had intended to stay in the race and allow her supporters’ votes to be counted but determined Sunday night that “it would cost the taxpayers in Augusta-Richmond County money to have my name withdrawn after the race.”

Davis and Mason both declined to comment on Blocker-Adams’ decision. Myles said, “I hate that this happened to her in the midnight hour,” and wished Blocker-Adams well.

Cummings said he hoped to get some of her supporters.

Republican elections observer Dave Barbee said he expected Blocker-Adams’ decision to benefit Davis the most.

“It shrunk the pool,” Barbee said, making the 50 percent of votes plus one needed to win outright a possibility for Davis, who garnered 36 percent of votes in a May 1 landline poll to Blocker-Adams’ second-place 16 percent.

Bailey said she expected between 30 and 40 percent of Au­gusta’s 100,000 registered voters to participate in the election.

About 6,617 people voted early during 16 days of advance voting, including about 2,600 who cast ballots before Blocker-Adams’
financial issues becoming public.

GET OUT AND VOTE

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Voters must show ID and select a Democratic, Republican or nonpartisan ballot.

LOCAL RACES AT THE POLLS

• Along with the Augusta mayor’s race, five districts will elect commissioners and voters will decide on a $194.3 million sales tax package.

• Columbia County voters will choose candidates for the 10th and 12th districts of the U.S. House.

• Statewide, among other races, candidates for a U.S. Senate seat will be decided.

Comments (35) Add comment
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Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 05/19/14 - 10:12 am
6
6
Shame

Such a shame. It would have been fun if she had stayed in the race just to see how many votes she would have gotten.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 05/19/14 - 10:12 am
2
10
Mason

It is time to vote for Mason if we're to have any hope of a run-off.

Riverman1
84011
Points
Riverman1 05/19/14 - 10:19 am
4
1
51%

The number required to get to 51% just got smaller to say the obvious.

Farmboy
946
Points
Farmboy 05/19/14 - 10:22 am
3
0
Hope..

The morning after.....

RivieraRed
24
Points
RivieraRed 05/19/14 - 10:59 am
10
1
Hoping for restoration

This was a righteous and courageous act by Ms. Adams. Bravo! I am hoping this is the first step toward restoring your credit and reputation by paying your debts and leading others to follow your lead. I also hope Ms. Adams will publically repudiate the misguided statements by the Augusta Courier publisher and Rev. Jackson.

internationallyunknown
4211
Points
internationallyunknown 05/19/14 - 11:38 am
9
0
Karma

She has BLASTED MANY past candidates before about their transgressions.

My, how the tables have turned.

The irony.....she actually had a chance.

Riverman1
84011
Points
Riverman1 05/19/14 - 11:49 am
8
1
Pattern

First she suspended and now she withdraws. Kind of a pattern of delaying things until there's a knock on the door.

Riverman1
84011
Points
Riverman1 05/19/14 - 12:07 pm
4
3
Ensures Davis Primary Win by 51%

This actually ensures Hardie Davis will win on the first ballot with over 51% of the vote. The HBA votes will not be counted as part of the total votes. Davis now only has to beat Mason. Cummings and Myles are not serious candidates. There were hopes of keeping Davis from 51% and Mason-HBA combining their votes to beat Davis in the run-off, but with the early HBA votes thrown out with the bathwater, that's impossible.

story1
802
Points
story1 05/19/14 - 12:15 pm
3
1
Still voting for Mr. Mason

He's obviously the most qualified candidate. He seems to be very neutral and not controlled by any outside interests. And he doesn't need a teleprompter to make a speech. Seems every candidate in this race has to read from notes except Mr. Mason. A race to the finish. At least no one was disqualified for wearing a nasal strip.

catfish20
258
Points
catfish20 05/19/14 - 12:51 pm
6
0
Not really...

Independent, Prideful.....how about Pathological...get some help seriously.

whyme
1812
Points
whyme 05/19/14 - 01:07 pm
2
6
just saying

The timing of these revelations are always interesting. These debts have been around for years and no one said anything all along, and then as things got more interesting, here they come. Not that they shouldn't, but it's like someone is just waiting for dramatic effect. Why not bring it up as soon as you hear she's running for office? I don't agree with her thinking that, because she didn't hear from the creditors in a while, she was free and clear. I keep up with every penny and if I don't get a bill from someone, I call them. Not hard to do. And on another note, do we really think her personal debts would make her a bad mayor? No one yet has made the commissioners work together as a team to take huge strides in turning Augusta into the city that it should be. Unless there is a worry about a candidate stealing to pay off the debt, sleeping with fellow commissioners, or otherwise not doing the job, I don't really worry about one's personal life unless it affects the job. Maybe this would have, maybe not. Notice how the other candidates weren't too stressed. Wonder what they have in their past? To what degree do we decide what is worse? Did someone cheat on his/her spouse? What if they owe money, but not as much as she did? I guess overall we expect our mayor to have higher standards and she was not felt to have done so in the eyes of everyone else. Just things to think about....

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 05/19/14 - 01:27 pm
8
9
Planned
Unpublished

This was all carefully planned. Helen was urged to get in the race as a spoiler but when they found out that she was taking votes away from The Cabal candidate, she was expendable and had to be taken out. People, this is why Augusta is the most corrupt city in America.

catfish20
258
Points
catfish20 05/19/14 - 01:29 pm
7
1
Come on Helen...

God came to her @ 3:00....let me see yea 3:00am this morning...She still has not come to terms with the fact that her hold persona her entire life has been a "Con".

I will be totally SURPRISED if she doesn't take this I've been down show on the road...try to write a book..and I would buy it. She is pastor waiting for a church...I'm telling you....Helen has a problem and she will continue to be around the edges of our community. But, my friends and neighbors in Augusta and I can tell with some degree of certainty the one thing she will never ever, ever, do and that is PAY HER BILLS.

Lori Davis
920
Points
Lori Davis 05/19/14 - 01:31 pm
10
4
No Hardie Davis. No SPLOST

Ok folks. Let's get real here. Why would anybody vote for Hardie Davis? He is for SPLOST7 which gives money to special interest projects up front well before any infrastructure projects are addressed. He voted as a Senator to give Ga.Power advanced profits on Plant Vogtle costing the tax payers a 7% increase on their tax bills. He says Richmond County property taxes are too low. He voted to exempt industry from paying local sales taxes on energy costing Augusta three million dollars last year. He abstained or did not vote on over two dozen bills, and he was the only legislator to abstain on the gun rights bill. Is he really good for AUGUSTA? Just asking.

irishgent
15
Points
irishgent 05/19/14 - 02:07 pm
6
0
A word to the wise future

A word to the wise future council members,how you vote and represent one side can come back to haunt you when you decide to run for mayor

catfish20
258
Points
catfish20 05/19/14 - 02:20 pm
3
5
YES...

Hardie Davis is Great for Augusta and at shortly after 8:00pm tomorrow he will be a Mayor we can be proud of in years to come.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 05/19/14 - 02:38 pm
7
4
I have never in my life seen
Unpublished

I have never in my life seen a city so full of people so willing to vote against their own best interests time after time after time. Here you have a candidate who says he thinks your property taxes are too low and you will vote for him. You deserve exactly what you get

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 05/19/14 - 02:45 pm
6
4
Squabbling

Meanwhile, Columbus GA has taken the title of second-largest city in Georgia.

Keep the mediocrity train rolling, Augusta!

scoopdedoop64
2366
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/14 - 03:26 pm
7
0
Why can good people not run for office?

No Free Pass, Helen! Helen had some issues that would definitely hinder her election. But that said she has some great qualities of leadership and I hope she can overcome these that set her back. Now, let me hit my main point. Why can good people not run for office? Because no one has a closet with no skeletons. It is just whether you have enough money to keep it quiet. It is too bad that common folk can not run for office because of past issues or because someone will drag their name in the mud. If you love your family and don't want to have people snooping into all your business then the answer is simple...don't run for office. However, a lot of those good people would have done a fine job. I am not sure Helen fits into this category but I'm just saying.

Riverman1
84011
Points
Riverman1 05/19/14 - 04:37 pm
4
3
Why Hardie Davis?

I'm curious as why the Chronicle endorsed Hardie Davis over Alvin Mason. They didn't say why. They said they all had negatives, but never listed the negatives of Davis...or Mason for that matter. The Chronicle has been so flaky about the whole endorsement process, they owe us an explanation of what they feel are Davis' negatives.

Deke also didn't give his reasons for supporting Davis. Does he think he doesn't have to? With Davis' liberal votes in the state senate that I posted before why would the Chronicle and Deke endorse Hardie Davis?

Truth Matters
6845
Points
Truth Matters 05/19/14 - 03:45 pm
6
2
"I also hope Ms. Adams will

"I also hope Ms. Adams will publically repudiate the misguided statements by the Augusta Courier publisher and Rev. Jackson."

Or she can respond like Boehner when asked to publicly repudiate the birthers:
"It is not my job to correct the Birthers."

It is not HBA's job to correct every person who speaks out regarding this mess that she started.

Having said that, I do wish her well.

Riverman1
84011
Points
Riverman1 05/19/14 - 03:55 pm
4
2
Wishing HBA Well

I not only wish HBA well, I will be the intervention friend who shouts she needs psychiatric help. I think that much of her. The rent thing was such a bizarre, strange and cold and unfuzzy matter her friends need to get in her face and tell her to get counseling. If she has no money, I assume she's covered under the Affordable Care Act.

PrayN4U
350
Points
PrayN4U 05/19/14 - 04:13 pm
4
3
Stink

All this stinks to the high heavens. Everyone has a past. Why was Hardie Davis criminal record not bought. Yes, he has a record. Everone want to dig. Dig fairly. Augusta can't you see a wolf in sheeps clothing? Vote as you wish but Davis will keep the good old boys system running like a greased wheel. Our only choices for the interest of the people in Augusta was Helen Blocker-Adams (even with problems, she loved the city) and Alvin Mason who will keep Augusta government honest. I am sorry Helen gave in but I undrstand her reasons. My heart is heavy thinking Davis might win.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 05/19/14 - 04:48 pm
2
0
Stick a fork
Unpublished

in Augusta; it's done. And yeah, people like countyman and deke won't be able to brag about Augusta being Georgia's second largest city. That title now belongs to Columbus. Augusta's population will continue to shrink. Those who are left, because selling a home there is next to impossible, can expect higher and higher property taxes to keep the gravy train chugging downtown. The robber barons will squeeze every last ounce of blood they can out of this turnip. That's why they are so desperate to pass this SPLOST. Counting the days until Augusta goes bankrupt.

AutumnLeaves
7765
Points
AutumnLeaves 05/19/14 - 04:38 pm
5
0
NATIONAL Criminal as well as

NATIONAL Criminal as well as state criminal background checks should be done on all political candidates. Period.

scoopdedoop64
2366
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/14 - 04:53 pm
4
0
@ Riverman1

Thanks, you always make me smile with a humorous take on things.

catfish20
258
Points
catfish20 05/19/14 - 06:00 pm
1
0
HBA ....She is a leader...

Linda Shrenko-Leader
Charles Walker-Leader
Robin Williams-Leader
Jim Jones-Leader
Charles Manson-Leader

Hell... they are all leaders.... we really dodged a bullet on this one...first one in a while...I've got a good feeling about Hardie.

...point to ponder
755
Points
...point to ponder 05/19/14 - 06:37 pm
4
1
No SPOST.....and vote for Mason

Mason is against the splost plan and wants it reworked.

So vote for Mason and No to splost.

*HBA was also against the current splost.

whyme
1812
Points
whyme 05/19/14 - 06:42 pm
0
2
3 thumbs down

because...? You disagreed with my question about why personal business should or should not affect someone's capability of being an effective leader? Or was it my question that it wouldn't make any difference what it would mean to Augusta's growth? Or maybe I confused you? Just saying...

rebellious
20780
Points
rebellious 05/19/14 - 08:59 pm
2
0
Accusation

with no documentation. Prove Davis has a criminal record, or withdraw your baseless comment.

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