History will be made when Augusta's next mayor is elected

  • Follow Government

No matter who wins, it will be historic.

Though the “old city,” pre-consolidation Augusta elected a black county commissioner, Ed McIntyre, mayor in 1981, and former Augusta-Richmond County Commissioner Willie Mays served as interim mayor for six months after the resignation of former Mayor Bob Young, the 18-year-old consolidated government has never had an elected black mayor.

It will in January, though, as the five candidates who made good on campaign announcements and filed qualifying paperwork are black.

Among those on the May 20 ballot are state Sen. Har­die Davis, D-Augusta, a south Augusta pastor and businessman who has served eight years in the state Legislature; Commissioner Alvin Mason, a retired Army sergeant serving his second term on the commission; and Charles
Cummings, a retired restaurateur.

Mason, a Michigan native, said he had not given the color factor “a thought,” preferring only to be “an effective mayor,” while Davis pointed to McIntyre and said the election would garner “a lot of interest.”

Cummings felt the color shift will be “interesting,” but “my concern about people goes across color lines,” he said.

Other local leaders spoke more openly about the change.

“I don’t think it’s significant or important what the race is of the next mayor,” said Commissioner Donnie Smith, a lieutenant with the Georgia State Patrol and one of four white members of the 10-member commission. Five others are black; one is Asian-American.

“It may make some of the divisiveness that is constantly talked about go away,” Smith said.

For mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams, it wasn’t about race.

“I am excited about being the first female mayor of Augusta-Richmond County, period,” the small business owner said.

Though women now make up two-thirds of registered voters, Augusta has never had a female mayor, before or after consolidation.

“After eight years in office, the whole complexion and the personality of Augusta will be completely different,” Blocker-Adams said.

The other woman in the race, T.W. Josey High School language arts teacher Lori Myles, said she will “champion all races” as mayor.

With three women also seeking two Augusta Commission seats May 20, the gender of city government could shift as well. Only one woman, Mary Davis, currently serves on the commission.

Comments (26) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
story1
791
Points
story1 03/08/14 - 07:50 pm
6
3
Vote No

Glad to see Alvin Mason doesn't support Splost with the current package that Deke is ramming through. My vote is for Alvin. If you oppose this Splost package, get out and vote For Alvin and vote No to Splost.

Young Fred
15724
Points
Young Fred 03/08/14 - 08:47 pm
7
4
Wow

this story is about skin and/or sex.

Man! the chronicle is cutting edge!

Little Lamb
43821
Points
Little Lamb 03/08/14 - 08:56 pm
5
2
No to Splost

story1 makes a good case. It's not that logical, but it's good.

If Mason is the only candidate opposing the SPLOST package, that's a good enough reason to vote for him.

Let's see if the other candidates will weasel, crawfish, or punt on the SPLOST issue.

Pops
6824
Points
Pops 03/08/14 - 10:32 pm
7
2
Doesn't amount to a hill

of beans as to who is mayor. AGAIN....it's a nothing job....good pay....no authority and no responsibility.....why do you think washcloths like Copenhaver want the job....it's a stepping stone for other worthless, high profile "jobs"....

JRC2024
7944
Points
JRC2024 03/08/14 - 10:42 pm
8
2
Now now pops. The mayor

Now now pops. The mayor represents Augusta in alot of things. It will be interesting to see if a black mayor will try to change the charter so that he or she has some power that was taken from the office by Jack Connell and Charles Walker.

oldredneckman96
4903
Points
oldredneckman96 03/09/14 - 02:25 am
9
4
Elected?
Unpublished

Check the record of all the previously elected black officials, the criminal record that is.

myfather15
49590
Points
myfather15 03/09/14 - 06:57 am
7
2
Making History? Content of

Making History? Content of Character, not color of skin?

History has been made thousands of times through the history of the world. Some of that history has been excellent, some disastrous!! Nothing wrong with pointing out that history will be made and that all the candidates are black; but let's not forget the content of their character or the history we make, could be disastrous!!

iaaffg
1505
Points
iaaffg 03/09/14 - 07:29 am
9
1
here we go again with the

here we go again with the race thing. first this, first that, who cares? i'm with myfather15: what about the character, the morals, the ethics of these candidates? do they have any? what is their stand on the topics of importance in augusta? what solutions do they have in mind for the myriad problems that surround augusta? what ideas do they have to bring success to augusta? if the best you can come up with for a story for these candidates is the color of their skin, you are simply perpetuating the black/white thing over and over and over ad nauseum ad infinitum. quit being hung up on color and look at character, morals, and track records instead.

nocnoc
38310
Points
nocnoc 03/09/14 - 09:16 am
2
3
CSRA's 1st Black Mayor & Sheriff? Maybe not.

Didn't that little now defunct town, just on the other side of the river,
have both the CSRA's 1st Black Sheriff and Mayor over 139 years ago?
(Note: both were Republican)

Didn't the local Augusta Business Men and the Edgefield power in charge, all devout Democrats, have them murdered in July 1876?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg_Massacre

A book for some good 1st person accounts of the area and those involved.

THE BLOODY SHIRT
Terror After Appomattox
By Stephen Budiansky

Riverman1
79223
Points
Riverman1 03/09/14 - 09:22 am
4
3
Turn out the lights, the party's over

Turn out the lights, the party's over.

10-1 odds on Hardie Davis.

nocnoc
38310
Points
nocnoc 03/09/14 - 09:24 am
7
2
BTW:

I am always mystified why the black segment of our population is so warm and fuzzy with the Democrat Party. When 1 considers the
Democrats made every Black persons live a living hell from 1865 until 1970's

Racist Democrats, NOT Republicans, were responsible for almost every lynching that happened in the south.

Democrats, not Republicans were the Owners.

Democrats sure have not helped the poor Black American in the last 40 years either.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 03/09/14 - 09:43 am
0
0
Thanks Susan
Unpublished

Nice article - if you're looking to stir things up concerning race. I don't think any of 5 are good candidates. Some are better than others and some just stink.

internationallyunknown
3932
Points
internationallyunknown 03/09/14 - 10:06 am
4
4
None of these candidates have

None of these candidates have the qualifications to be elected. Each has some dirt...BUT Alvin Mason has the best chance....Hardie Davis isn't even from Augusta....why leave a state rep. position to become Mayor.....looks like he (Davis) has been bought like Fennoy.

No white candidates....looks like they have said, "Let them have it."

GerrySeavo
20
Points
GerrySeavo 03/09/14 - 10:46 pm
11
1
Think Beyond Race

Susan McCord is one of my most favorite writers at the Augusta Chronicle and as a recent communications graduate with a background in journalism, I look up to her. However lately I have noticed the Chronicle has joined an American media trend of over emphasizing the race of minority candidates, more so than the energy/qualifications they bring to a position. I know they are black ( mind you I am black), but what can they do for the city and region?? I want to know about military service records, community involvement, planning know-how, education, personality, and much more. Lets think beyond race and color. We will never move forward if we can dwelling on it.

pimpernell
94
Points
pimpernell 03/09/14 - 11:19 am
0
1
Where ignorant armies clash by night.........

The Augusta mayoral race may well prove to be as historic as
President Obama's drawing a line in the water. Which certainly goes to prove that Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. This ship of fools has docked and will soonb e ready to embark on another voyage of painful discovery for Richmond County Taxpayers if SPLOST passes muster. Witness the following: 1.Millions to a private college for a
"cultural center" 2. "Marion the Magician" Williams wasting taxpayer time and money checking everyone's hard drive. The only likely discovery here would be Mr. Williams "hard head'.3. Mr. Hatney becoming the only certified County Commissioner by virtue of his travels to various seminars at Elsewhere City. One thing is certain, Hatney is 'certifiable'. 4.The cloak and dagger management of storm damage pickup by the Commission and and Ashbrit Services and this newspaper as an unindicted co-conspirator. The ethno-political odor emanating form the piles of flotsam lining our streets as a prelude to a lose-lose mayoral election is unmistakable. Where are the trucks? Whose trash is getting picked up? Why do Acts-of-God seem to favor South Richmond County? Is God a Racist? For the answers to these and other questions continue to read this rag daily and notice that at no time do my hands leave my arms and my brain leave the Twilight Zone. Do-de-do-de-do-de ad infinitum

Riverman1
79223
Points
Riverman1 03/09/14 - 11:40 am
4
1
Gerry Seavo

Gerry Seavo, congratulations on your recent degree and I do understand what you mean, but a point I often make is the emphasis on race in elections is prevalent all over the nation, not only in Augusta. Voters have racial patterns in almost all elections. It’s simply the reality that the Chronicle is addressing. In this mayor’s race of course it will be difficult for the whites to vote along racial lines…heh.

Dixieman
12888
Points
Dixieman 03/09/14 - 12:05 pm
1
2
C'mon

Raceraceracerace.
Gendergendergendergender.
Meaningless!

countyman
19115
Points
countyman 03/09/14 - 12:08 pm
1
4
What else is new? The sky is

What else is new?

The sky is always falling in Richmond County no matter the subject and the Chronicle must continue focusing on race in Richmond County.

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 03/09/14 - 12:25 pm
0
0
In ten
Unpublished

years, the only discernible difference between Richmond county and Detroit will be that y'all don't build highway worthy vehicles. When those who don't have a clue as to how to govern take over, y'all will become another national money pit. In twenty years, Aiken will be home to "The Masters".

Sweet son
9682
Points
Sweet son 03/09/14 - 01:20 pm
3
1
A new mayor and other new commissioners will not change

the disjointed Richmond County government. Write it down and count on it!

Funny thing is that the blacks will have just as much trouble as whites trying to figure out to vote for. Usually for blacks it's often easy to decide who to vote for: the black candidate. Hope this mayoral election turns out better than the last two presidential elections. Obama let all of us down and of course I didn't vote for him either time.

Butterman
3408
Points
Butterman 03/09/14 - 01:26 pm
3
2
Mason

Only candidate to openly oppose The SPLOST. That's good enough for me. It shows he is not afraid to take a position and make it known. Ask Helen or Hardie where they stand on SPLOST. You will get a lot of white noise.

myfather15
49590
Points
myfather15 03/09/14 - 01:32 pm
3
1
Gerry Seavo

Welcome and thank you!! We need more voices of reason out here! I hope to see you posting comments frequently.

nocnoc
38310
Points
nocnoc 03/09/14 - 03:39 pm
4
2
GerrySeavo - Welcome on board

Regarding your comment about the focus on Race.

Our last Black Mayor Ed McIntyre was convicted on U.S. federal charges of extortion in 1984. Augusta's 1st Black Mayor kind of hosed it for others. So in this case it is hard to ignore the Elephants in the room.

Note: Willie Mays was really the 2nd Black Mayor in 2005

But no matter how you slice it, for the 1st time in Augusta's History,
We will have a former Minority, now the majority, in power, holding
many of the ARC elected positions and the power to make a majority of the local dept. & agency appointments.

The Other Elephant in the room, boils down to whether it will be a color blind impartial government?

BTW:As Mayors go I liked Pop Newman so far the best.
How many politicians stay married for 71 years to the same good women. .

Also In my lifetime Mayor DeVaney the least.
Having known a lot of behind the curtain details.

Young Fred
15724
Points
Young Fred 03/09/14 - 04:02 pm
0
2
pimpernell

quite the deep yourself you seem...

"ethno-political odor" ..." piles of flotsam"

pretty wild statements you throw down!

I have to ask you-is their anyone in this race that brings gravitas to the table, a little (just a wee) depth to the table?

pja5529
1413
Points
pja5529 03/09/14 - 04:02 pm
3
2
nonoc

Why do people keep bringing up McIntyre? Just because he's black doesn't mean the new black mayor that will be elected this year will be crooked like he was.

bigj706
984
Points
bigj706 03/09/14 - 04:53 pm
2
0
Everyone keeps wondering why

Everyone keeps wondering why the Chronicle keeps putting articles like these out 23 comments is why . If I would have read the article and then seen 0 comments that would be impressive. The Chronicle wins by your complaints because they knew you read it whether you like the article or not.

story1
791
Points
story1 03/09/14 - 04:55 pm
0
1
Private Special Interest Groups

will be influencing their friends and members to vote "Yes" for Splost. That way, a windfall of money will come their way without an audit or questions. They are already high 5-ing their win. We must educate and encourage voters to turn this one down and let the commissioners and new Mayor revise and put back on the ballot a year from now.

Augz79
1083
Points
Augz79 03/09/14 - 05:33 pm
2
1
May election, June run-off, January start date

So the elections were moved from November to May, but the start-date for elected officials is still in January?

If by some odd chance SPLOST fails, Deke and a lame-duck commission will have six whole months to ram another SPLOST through, even though we will will have a mayor-elect twiddling his or her thumbs for six months, waiting to take office.

Atlanta didn't think this through all the way.

nocnoc
38310
Points
nocnoc 03/09/14 - 10:08 pm
0
0
pja5529 - makes a good point

Why do people keep bringing up McIntyre?

Well in my case, my thinking is, if I was the 1st to accomplish something this important for my people, I would have made sure I did not tarnish the achievement or make it harder for those to follow by screwing up criminally.

Right or Wrong Mr. Ed tarnished that image for, what?
2014-1984=30 Years.

We'll never know how many better Black candidates for mayor, chose NOT to run for mayor over the last 26 years. All because of the cloud of shame left behind and they did not want to fight an up hill campaign against the ghost of Mr. Ed.

BTW:
In my case and many others,
I can careless what a persons race or color is:
If he is honest, clean in speech, moral, has the ability to understand right from wrong and demonstrates common sense and logic.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mother of newborn left in car to face possible indictment

Richmond County Civil and Magistrate Court Presiding Judge H. Scott Allen ruled at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing for 20-year-old Alicia Manigault that her case would be bound over to a ...
Search Augusta jobs