Augusta mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams suspends campaign

Thursday, May 15, 2014 5:01 PM
Last updated Friday, May 16, 2014 1:11 AM
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Augusta mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams suspended her mayoral campaign Thursday amid reports of debts unpaid for years and other financial difficulties.

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Mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams (right) announces that she is suspending her campaign.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams (right) announces that she is suspending her campaign.

“These last few days have been hard and humiliating,” she said, reading from a prepared statement during a news conference at her Eighth Street campaign headquarters. “It has shown me that I have to work on me and especially my financial challenges. I take full responsibility for the debt and for my mistakes.”

Flanked by members of her campaign team, Blocker-Adams spoke for less than two minutes, grew tearful then walked out and drove away.

Despite the announcement, Blocker-Adams did not file the formal affidavit necessary to remove herself from the election Thursday, Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said.

If she does, the office will post notices at all polling places that votes cast for Blocker-Adams won’t count, and all votes for her – including any of nearly 5,000 cast early as of Thursday – will be considered null and void. Without the formal withdrawal, however, the votes would remain viable.

At the news conference, Blocker-Adams and her campaign manager, Pam Wilkins, said no one besides Blocker-Adams was aware of the debts, three court judgments exceeding $70,000 from Aiken County that dated back to the 1990s. Tuesday, Blocker-Adams said a lack of recent correspondence from creditors led her to believe she’d paid them off.

“I failed to let my campaign team and family know about any of the personal financial details in my life and I regret that. If my executive team knew what they know now, they would have advised me not to run for mayor,” she said Thursday.

“I have always been an independent person and felt I could get things done by myself. As a woman who knows and loves the Lord, I realize that is pride and he has revealed that to me over the past few days,” she said.

After attempting to explain the unpaid debts as typical for most Augustans, and arising from a dark period of her life when she’d gotten divorced, had a miscarriage and been saddled with a bad loan, on Wednesday more reports surfaced of Blocker-Adams being served more than 40 times with eviction or dispossessory notices between 2007 and 2013.

Blocker-Adams offered no further explanation other than her comments at the news conference.

“I know I have let many people down and I am deeply sorry for that. I ask for your forgiveness,” she said. “The love and support from this community has been overwhelming. Effective immediately, I am suspending my campaign and run for mayor.”

Wilkins called Blocker-Adams her “sister in Christ” and said the campaign team would have stood by her regardless of Blocker-Adams’ decision.

Comments (46) Add comment
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restguy
407
Points
restguy 05/15/14 - 04:09 pm
4
2
And now who will you support

And now who will you support Billy?

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 05/15/14 - 04:46 pm
0
0
I can
Unpublished

hear LOUD screams of racism all of the way here in Holly Springs.

willie7
1047
Points
willie7 05/15/14 - 04:54 pm
0
0
I feel very sorry for
Unpublished

I feel very sorry for her.
She needs a rest

Truth Matters
8097
Points
Truth Matters 05/15/14 - 05:21 pm
8
3
To HBA: "You'll get through

To HBA:
"You'll get through this."
The book title of one of my favorite works by author, Max Lucado.

RedQuinoa
2972
Points
RedQuinoa 05/15/14 - 05:39 pm
1
0
Hope for redemption

I hope this seemingly very nice and sincere lady can take the time now to examine herself thoroughly and eventually make a full recovery from this. Over the years she has been a very positive force in the community and has made a difference in many lives. There's no reason she cannot resume that role in the future. To be effective, it certainly doesn't require her to hold the title of Mayor.

God has a further plan for her life, and she seems genuinely willing to seek it. Everyone is redeemable when they're willing to honestly admit their faults and come clean.

All the best to you, HBA.

obkad
222
Points
obkad 05/15/14 - 05:41 pm
1
3
how surprising

My vote stays with Helen. Can anyone say planned event. Gee how is it that Alvin Mason gets arrested for domestic issues, Marion Williams gets caught with his hands in the South August Race track issue, Grady Smith get grilled on conflict of interest only to be elected to their post. Seems the "IN" group had this planned in the event Helen were to emerge as the front runner. Isn't it amazing this was not brought up eight years ago, why,, she wasn't a factor then.. Save it for a rainy day. The rainy day is here, but my vote is staying with Helen.. Remember Slick Willie did the same thing.. I didn't have sex with that woman, Oh really. Thank you Austin, Billy, and the others,, you did you job,, now let Augusta do theirs. Helen for mayor.

jmo
18644
Points
jmo 05/15/14 - 06:01 pm
4
3
There's....

still nothing on the menu.

mllange
156
Points
mllange 05/15/14 - 06:18 pm
1
3
Everyone has debts. Everyone

Everyone has debts. Everyone has weaknesses. Finances just happen to be hers. I dont feel like she should have quit! Her vision for Augusta is her strength. Her imperfections only proved that she is human. She should have fought through this. There was history to be made.

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 05/15/14 - 06:28 pm
2
1
Sooner
Unpublished

This all should have come out sooner. I smell a big rat.

peace4784
130
Points
peace4784 05/15/14 - 06:38 pm
0
0
The real problem was that
Unpublished

The real problem was that Helen was getting too close to winning the mayor's race and had to be knocked out of the race. Spineless, emotionally insecure men did not want a woman to be mayor of Augusta. What is worse are the people who called Helen a friend and betrayed her when it mattered. A real friend will support a friend who is attacked, not support the attackers. Austin Rhodes called HBA a friend. Yet he supported Helen's attackers. He piled on a woman who was knocked down. With Austin as a friend you don't need enemies. The old boys were not ready for a woman mayor so they resorted to a last minute, despicable smear campaign against HBA. At least Helen did not hide like her attackers. The people who hide in the dark and do their dirt are like cockroaches who hide from the light. They are vermin and have no class. Their dirty laundry will be aired one day as well. God will see that it happens.

curly123053
5398
Points
curly123053 05/15/14 - 06:45 pm
12
2
Sad

I actually think she meant well and most likely would do a good job as mayor, but that past gives people second thoughts. I pray she is able to get all those debts taken care of and step up and show that she did not just quit. She has still done a lot of good for people and I think she will continue to do that.

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 05/15/14 - 06:51 pm
11
5
Honesty

I commend her for her honesty and courage to the right thing even at the last minute.

mosovich
858
Points
mosovich 05/15/14 - 07:00 pm
4
1
Why why why??

Why do people run for office KNOWING they have skeletons in their closets????? They know someone is going to find out.. Isn't this why she dropped out last time?????

my.voice
5180
Points
my.voice 05/15/14 - 07:05 pm
12
10
Honesty and courage? Are you

Honesty and courage? Are you kidding me? She belongs in debtors prison. Pay your bills!

Dixieman
17569
Points
Dixieman 05/15/14 - 07:09 pm
15
3
Did she really think...

...that this would not come out? Glad that it came out now rather than after she was elected. But I'm not crazy about the rest of the candidates.
And why do candidates who do this always "suspend" their campaigns instead of withdrawing, resigning, quitting, etc. Is there some quirk in the campaign or campaign finance laws that makes it advantageous to always characterize these collapses as suspensions??

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/15/14 - 07:15 pm
9
3
@Dixieman

I could be wrong, but maybe by suspending her campaign she keeps the door open to get back in the race if the majority of Augustan were to encourage her to run anyhow. I think very highly of Helen but a person that has financial problems has to face the great temptation not to use their position for financial gain. It is really sad because she has so many other great qualities that would make her a good mayor. My heart and prayers go with her.

rebellious
22033
Points
rebellious 05/15/14 - 07:30 pm
16
1
Politics

is a brutal playing field, and opponents can often trash each other. This, however, is a serious miscalculation made by Ms. Blocker Adams. I have known her since 1976, and suspect her desire to improve Augusta overshadowed common sense. She most likely thought this financial background info would never see the light of day.

Mayoral material? Unfortunately, this serious lack of judgement is indicative of what could have been expected in the future. Furthermore, had someone wanting some sweetheart deal with the city had this info, blackmail would certainly have been an option for the less than desirable.

I feel for anyone having their personal financial blunders aired in public. Helen is no different. Bless her heart, and I hope scrutiny of her 503c corporation does not bring Federal charges, because we all know ignorance of the law is no defense.

corgimom
38713
Points
corgimom 05/15/14 - 07:38 pm
13
8
When you don't tell your

When you don't tell your campaign managers of critical items, that is NOT honesty and courage, but just the opposite.

gargoyle
21089
Points
gargoyle 05/15/14 - 07:55 pm
4
3
Unfortunately since these

Unfortunately since these issues came to light everybody who gave her a key to their till will have to check the books or they run the risk of the accusation of ignoring possible improprieties. I'm hatting being the evil bean counter but it has to be said and done

WarrenvilleRepublican
161
Points
WarrenvilleRepublican 05/15/14 - 08:01 pm
2
2
Applause

I applaud her for getting out of the race. With this baggage she should have never run but I am thankful she bowed out now.

Lee Benedict
1651
Points
Lee Benedict 05/15/14 - 08:29 pm
6
3
Suspend

When you suspend your campaign, you may still accept campaign contributions. If you come out and say, "I'm done", you may not accept another dime in campaign donations.

sawgrass
2730
Points
sawgrass 05/15/14 - 08:32 pm
4
2
her quote

As a woman who knows and loves the Lord, I realize that is pride and he has revealed that to me over the past few days,” she said.

Shouldn't a person who loves the LORD be honest?

southern2
7905
Points
southern2 05/15/14 - 09:15 pm
5
4
Too bad other politicians

Too bad other politicians won't do the right thing when it is revealed they have been dishonest with the folks.

Take note BHO, HRC, HR, & NP.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 05/15/14 - 09:25 pm
6
13
I am very proud of her for

I am very proud of her for doing the right thing. Not just her resignation from the campaign, but admitting her wrongs, confessing her struggle with pride, which we all have and most importantly, her need and love of Christ.

Helen Blocker Adams is not finished; she's only just begun.

...point to ponder
779
Points
...point to ponder 05/15/14 - 09:45 pm
6
6
she did the right thing...

Now voters need to keep the heat on by voting for Alvin Mason and NO on the splost.

pimpernell
94
Points
pimpernell 05/15/14 - 09:49 pm
6
3
How courageous and convenient!

"Anyone who carries a cat by the tail learns something that he
(or she) can learn in no other way." ...Mark Twain

This aphorism certainly rings true for the Blocker Adams campaign. Although she is certainly the most personable and
truly likeable aspirant to Augusta laurel wreath, some things just won't wash. Caesar's wife and Augusta's mayor should be above reproach, although some have tested the limits. Political naivete', though disarmingly charming doesn't get you the key to the Old Boys Club. We wish you well Helen. Next time investigate before you invest.

By the way, WHO WAS THE PURE HEARTED INFORMANT WHO LEAKED THIS STORY???

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 05/15/14 - 09:54 pm
5
4
Mason
Unpublished

is now the natural choice for those who were supporting Helen. Both have very similar platforms and both oppose this SPLOST. Hardie Davis is for SPLOST and has the downtown and Hill powerbrokers running his campaign.

corgimom
38713
Points
corgimom 05/15/14 - 10:00 pm
11
10
Willow Bailey, were you proud

Willow Bailey, were you proud of her when she said that 90% of Augustans had done the same thing that she did?

What an absolute insult to the residents of Augusta.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 05/15/14 - 10:12 pm
15
3
No, Corgi, I was not and I

No, Corgi, I was not and I stated so several times. However, her past mistakes do not mean that she has no value or that she can't learn from her mistakes. I've said over and over, none of us are perfect and that we are not defined by our past, but by what we learn from it and how we allow it to change us for the better. When we admit our mistakes, ask others to forgive us and seek to honestly make amends and grow relationally and spiritually .... That my dear, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, AND if it is good enough for my Savior, it is more than good enough for me.

sand gnat
685
Points
sand gnat 05/15/14 - 11:51 pm
6
2
Honesty

This may be a good lady, but I seriously question her judgment. How on earth could one support a candidate that ignores being served more than 40 times with eviction or dispossessory notices between 2007 and 2013. And she thinks she is qualified to be mayor? She should continue her efforts in community service and getting her personal finances in order before taking on the leadership of Augusta. That being said, every candidate for mayor should make their personal financial history and credit score available to the voters before the election. I bet there is more?

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