Davis won't run for commission

Augusta Commissioner Matt Aitken has one less opponent to worry about Nov. 6 with Harrisburg activist Lori Davis’ announcement Monday that she is not seeking the District 1 seat.

Davis, who registered a campaign and announced plans to seek the seat in February, said in a statement Monday that the “politics of racial polarization” and District 1’s vote on the new transportation sales tax contributed to her decision.

A highly critical commentator on an online blog and during several presentations to the Augusta Commission this year, Davis, who is white, said she encountered racial politics at a recent candidates’ forum.

“Unfortunately, the politics of racial division have become the default mode for certain candidates and their political allies,” she said, declining to elaborate.

Davis, who lost a bid for mayor two years ago, also cited District 1’s overwhelming support for the new Transportation Investment Act as a reason not to run. Every precinct in District 1 favored the new tax, helping make the Augusta area one of the three Georgia regions to approve it. There were 12 regions voting on the measure.

“This vote proved to me that it will take more than one political campaign to loosen the grip of the same old political machines that heavily promoted this tax, with a familiar campaign of deceit and misinformation,” she said.

Aitken, who is white, surprised many local observers when he won a 2009 runoff against Bill Fennoy in a district that was more than 65 percent black. His election broke a long-standing 5-5 racial divide on the commission. After qualifying to seek a second term Monday, Aitken said he didn’t share Davis’ concerns about racial politics.

“I’ve grown more diverse than when I first was elected,” he said. “She has to do what’s best for her and her family at this time. I certainly understand that and respect that.”

Also qualifying for the District 1 seat Monday were Fennoy, a former Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority board member; Denice Traina, who has campaigned on improving Augusta Public Transit; and Thelonious Jones.

Also Monday, three candidates entered the race to replace Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, who cannot seek another term in District 3. They were Mary Davis, a former campaign manager for Mayor Deke Copenhaver; Coliseum Authority attorney Ed Enoch; and Cleveland O’Steen, an educator and Michigan native who ran against Bowles in 2009.

Donnie Smith and Ken Echols qualified in the race to replace District 7 Commissioner Jerry Brigham, who also is term-limited.

“Our district and our community is prepared for new leadership,” said Smith, a Georgia State Patrol lieutenant. “I don’t have any agenda from previous service.”

Echols said his experience as a school board member and being “retired and able to devote myself fully” to the commission put him above the competition. “Attendance is critical,” he said.

Bill Lockett was the only candidate to qualify for his District 5 commission seat Monday. Attorney Harold Jones and former District 2 Commissioner Marion Williams qualified to seek the Super District 9 seat. Commissioner J.R. Hatney is not eligible for another term.

Qualifying continues at the Richmond County Board of Elections office until noon Wednesday.

Comments (22) 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.
Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/06/12 - 08:59 pm
8
2
Augusta Politics are a Cesspool
Unpublished

Well I can certainly understand why Lori Davis made this decision. The T-splost vote in Augusta showed that you just are not dealing with a lot of bright bulbs down there. This is precisely why you don't get change in Augsuta and you don't get quality candidates running. Most of the educated voters left for Columbia and Aitken Counties years ago.

What you have left in Richmond County is largely an uninformed and apathetic populace, and I suspect that votes there are for sale anyway. You're not going to get change with that kind of mentality. I do hope kenny Echols can pull it off in Dist 7. he would be a huge improvement over Brigham. Donnie Smith is being backed by the same old cabal that is running Augusta in to the ground.

If Matt Aitken gets re-elected it will be a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Augusta-Richmond County.. but maybe they are getting exactly what they deserve after that T-Splost vote.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 08/06/12 - 09:16 pm
7
0
This town will continue to

This town will continue to get what they deserve. I agree with Shellman 100%.

countyman
20581
Points
countyman 08/06/12 - 09:48 pm
3
10
I've never understood why the

I've never understood why the same few people who live in Columbia County feel the need to consistently bash Richmond County.. TSPLOST received over 40% of the vote from the population living in Columbia County. Richmond County is the third wealthiest county out of the largest cities in Georgia(Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Athens).. The main county of the metro will always have poor inner city neighborhoods similar to other cities..

What areas in CC or AC are so much more highly educated compared to West Augusta, Summerville, CBD, Forest Hills, etc?? Let's see what happens over the next decade as people continue to move into the urban core of cities(CBD, Olde Town, etc)...

High school diploma
CC 89%
AC 87%
RC 85%

Bachelors Degree or higher
CC 34%
AC 25%
RC 22%

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/06/12 - 09:58 pm
6
0
Why Countyman?
Unpublished

Because the idiots in Richmond County just imposed a new tax on the people in Columbia County in the form of T-splost. People in Columbia County voted against T-splost by an over 18 point margin, but that did not matter because the geniuses (I use that term facetiously) in Richmond County voted in favor of it by close to 60%! So people in Columbia County will be taxed anyway! The math doesn't lie.. Whereas Columbia County has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, Richmond County has been stagnant.. with growth of less than one half of one percent! Why do you think that is countyman? Because they are all moving to Columbia County..... well the smart ones anyway.

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/06/12 - 10:34 pm
5
0
Actually Countyman
Unpublished

West Augusta and South Richmond County are the two bright spots.. they voted against T-splost, particularly dist 7. Problem is they were outvoted by the idiots in the remaining areas.

countyman
20581
Points
countyman 08/07/12 - 12:13 am
1
7
Richmond and Columbia are

Richmond and Columbia are only two of the counties who made up the region... Actually if you look at the population of RC from 2005-2010 after Deke Copenhaver became mayor... The population has increased by the thousands... Alot of cities go through a white flight phase, and then it comes to an end... I bet you don't want to bring up the current growth or future growth by 2020....

All you have to do is look at the older parts of CC for example.... The part of Washington rd in Martinez is struggling(Pleasant Home rd-Club Car) now that Evans has become the newer area.. The Washington rd section of West Augusta continues to boom...

I've also noticed metro Augusta is starting to following behind cities who are further ahead in the gentrification process... An larger percentage of non whites end up moving to the suburban counties, and numerous white people(young, empty nesters, gays) start moving back into the urban core... Since 2010 the white population of Columbia county is basically stagnant, and the black percentage is increasing the fastest.. The black population of Richmond County is stagnant, and the white population is growing the fastest... Not much difference between the two counties in terms of asian, hispanic, etc growth.. Groups of white people will move once the percentage of minorities reach a certain point in parts of Columbia county.. This is how cities begin to form exurbs on top of suburbs, and create additional sprawl..The only difference is Columbia County won't have an downtown or urban core to bring people back from(Mcduffie, Wilkes, Lincoln)..

dichotomy
34353
Points
dichotomy 08/07/12 - 12:03 am
5
1
"the idiots in Richmond

"the idiots in Richmond County just imposed a new tax on the people in Columbia County in the form of T-splost"

Well, the idiots in Richmond County (in certain districts) just imposed a new tax on THEMSELVES, some significant amount of which will be spent on OTHER counties. I don't know how countyman sees this, but to me, it don't make those folks the brightest bulbs on the tree.

And since RC was stupid enought to pass TSPLOST, they will probably be shorted their fair share of the GA state gasoline tax revenues when the legislature tries to recover from TSPLOST being voted down in the vast majority of the state. Some of them are already wiggling trying to figure out how to give us less matching funds than what was promised as part of TSPLOST.

Oh well, with the current state of affairs in RC, I would fully expect that it would be in the dumbest 1/4 of the state and the TSPLOST vote certainly proved that. How does it feel SUCKERS. The whole state stood at the edge of the cliff and somebody hollered jump......and only you and a couple other fools actually jumped. Does the expression "dumb as a rock" mean anything to the the folks in certain districts in RC?

countyman
20581
Points
countyman 08/07/12 - 12:25 am
0
5
Every single one of the

Every single one of the counties included will have to pay for TSPLOST ... This vote was based on entire regions, and not individual counties.... Columbia, Burke, and Mcduffie already help make up the metro area... The CSRA includes Lincoln, Jefferson, Wilkes, Taliaferro, Glascock, Warren, Hancock, Jenkins, and Washington..

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/07/12 - 03:15 am
5
0
Hope someone steps forward
Unpublished

I understand why Lori is not running but, as someone who owns property in this district, I hope someone else will step forward. I cannot support any of these candidates. Aitken has proven he is owned by the cabal and is an agent to the corrupt DDA. We need a downtown advocate to run for this seat. Someone help us please! Do I have to move and sell my property? I am beginning to think so.

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/07/12 - 03:19 am
6
0
Dichotomy..
Unpublished

You are right! Yes, I was baffled why the poorest people would vote themselves a new tax. Who can explain that?

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 08/07/12 - 03:47 am
3
6
Folks folks

It is a done deal...you are getting it----sooo
let us look on the bright side.....you will get some new paving---bridges repaired---EMPLOYED people--did I say PEOPLE working.....& if you boycott your local stores...guess what....that could put friends & neighbors on the unemployment line....so don't punish your local waitress /grocery store....
On the bright side...more folks are ok with casino/horse racing..

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 08/07/12 - 03:52 am
2
2
countyman

People are NOT rushing to get downtown.....or to live there...some are running the other way......believe it or not...
Now when you get horse racing in the county.....south of the Gordon Hy....you will see a rush for that place....:)

Riverman1
86853
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 05:11 am
7
1
Lori faced the reality.

Lori faced the reality. Richmond County's population was stagnant from 2000 to 2010. The nonwhite population is now 60% according to the 2010 census. The per capita income is the pits. We are told wait until 2020 and we'll see something. LOL. I see new house construction continuing in Columbia County. A few hundred yards from where I live, a new housing development is going up now. The population of Columbia County had a massive increase from 2000 to 2010. Guys hanging out at the carwash, detailing cars, may think Augusta is grand, but that's about it.

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 08/07/12 - 07:09 am
6
0
Border Trashing!

Today's commentaries are not unique. I'm fed up with TSPLOST and border trashing and Lori's plight. All I saw in this article is the name MARION WILLIAMS. God help us all if this man wiggles his way back in to Augusta politics.

Little Lamb
46900
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 08:04 am
4
1
What in the world does he mean by that?

Current district 1 commissioner Matt Aitken said:

“I’ve grown more diverse than when I first was elected.”

Let's look at the definition:

di·verse adj. 1: differing from one another : UNLIKE 2: composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities syn see DIFFERENT

Do you want a commissioner who is growing more unlike himself?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/07/12 - 08:05 am
6
1
It creeps me out seeing that

It creeps me out seeing that countyman makes it a point to find out where everyone lives.

Little Lamb
46900
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 08:07 am
5
1
Abstention

At least if Marion Williams is elected he can carry on J.R. Hatney's noble tradition of abstaining from voting two-thirds of the time.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/07/12 - 09:50 am
5
0
TSPLOST is disappointing and

TSPLOST is disappointing and I'm not sure it's even constitutional to implement collectivism for taxation purposes on this scale. It is what it is though. I think it passing has more to do with strategic district-mapping and selective campaigns, plus the wording on the ballot.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 08/07/12 - 09:54 am
0
1
Puppets and clowns
Unpublished

from the mayor on down. And so it goes down and down and down. The only LOGIC is that some people are getting very wealthy from Ignorance and Apathy. The "twin towers" of the ARC of the South. And they intend to control and milk the system for ever. It reminds me of the saying, the one eyed man is king in the world of the blind.

Little Lamb
46900
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 10:08 am
6
0
A+

You are A+ right about the wording on the ballot, David. The wording talked about creating jobs, creating economic development, etc.; and the word tax never appeared on the electronic ballot! To me, that is advocacy on the ballot, where neutrality ought to be required.

I voted a paper absentee ballot. I noticed the wording on the paper ballot was completely different from the wording on the electronic ballot. That is probably against the law and should be challenged. But since such a challenge would be against state government, it would take deep pockets.

Little Lamb
46900
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 10:17 am
4
0
Here is the wording:

SPECIAL ELECTION

Referendum 1

Central Savannah River Area District T-SPLOST.

Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs, improve roads and safety with citizen oversight.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Here is a link to the sample ballot from a Chronicle story:

Sample Ballot

Riverman1
86853
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 11:07 am
4
0
LL asked, "What in the world

LL asked, "What in the world does he mean by that?

Current district 1 commissioner Matt Aitken said:
“I’ve grown more diverse than when I first.. "

Heh, heh, heh. A reverse vitiligo?

Little Lamb
46900
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 11:48 am
1
0
Vocabulary Expansion

Thanks, Riverman, for helping me learn a new word today. Yeah, the spots may be a different color.

:-)

countyman
20581
Points
countyman 08/07/12 - 02:39 pm
1
2
The per capita income of

The per capita income of Richmond County is similar to it's peers... Developers tend to look at the median income compared to the per capita income.. It's the year 2012, and you can bring up the previous decade all you want... The white population of Columbia County since 2010 is still stagnant, and the black population is growing the fastest... While the total opposite is happening in Richmond County. We don't have to wait until 2020, because we can already see what's taking place now... The Washington rd section of Evans is newer and growing, but Martinez is struggling... Why isn't Evans hurting West Augusta?

Martinez section of Washington rd: K-Mart closing, Carpet warehouse moving to Grovetown, tire center opening at Bobby Jones/Washington rd intersection...

West Augusta section of Washington rd: I-Hop going away so Augusta National can expand, Person affiliated with the National purchasing the Greens on Washington, Kroger will build two 4k sq. ft. retail buildings/access rd, Roadrunner Cafe opening in old Famous Daves building, 7,500 sq. ft. retail center infront of the gas station next to Zaxbys(includes Pho Bac), etc.... The Legends Golf Club opened next to Fresh Market, Friedman's Jewelers near Kroger, and Strawhat Pizza in the Publix shopping center not too long ago..

Seenitb4... How can somebody who lives in metro Atlanta know what's happening downtown? Even if you don't include the new residential underway or about to start at 1225 Greene, 834 Greene, 586 Broad, 220-222 6th street, 556 Broad, 566 Broad, and 307 9th street...

JB Whites = 34 new condos(51 total) opened this year, Johnson building= 13 apts completed this year, 901 Broad= 9 apts underway, 1120 Jones street= 8 apts underway, 920 Greene street= 6 apts underway, 967 Broad street= 4 apts completed this year, 1204 Broad= 7 apts future project

81 new living spaces in the CBD this year either opened or underway...

countyman
20581
Points
countyman 08/07/12 - 02:59 pm
1
3
Let's take a look at the

Let's take a look at the ongoing/future commercial developments below.... I don't need to make sarcastic remarks, or bash any individual county to present the facts... Especially the county who is carrying the metro in terms of shopping, jobs, entertainment, industry, dining, etc...

Columbia County: Marshall Square, Gateway, and Evans Town Park...

Richmond County: Village at Riverwatch, Augusta Exchange, Walmart on Wrightsboro rd, and the 15th street neighborhood Walmart/other amenities on 15th street, 13 acre shopping on Gordon Hwy near Robinson Avenue, 25 acre shopping center/10k sq. ft. Shoppes at Dyess Park on Jimmie Dyess near Zaxbys...

The Wheeler Town Park(if the name didn't change) is located in both counties... Carmax is located in Richmond County, but some of the land between Carmax and Flowing Wells rd belongs to Columbia County.. The Gateway(240 units) will break ground in the near future in Richmond County... I'm sure the new residential will speed up commercial gowth, and might even bring back some of the retailers(Gander Mountain & Norther Toole) before the recession hit...

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 08/07/12 - 04:17 pm
1
0
Stop...

County...this thread WAS about how Augusta has been screwed YET again because the MOST qualified candidate for this seat decided to drop out of the race...There are other places on the AC website for Chamber of Commerce stats...

Little Lamb
46900
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 04:20 pm
1
0
Duh

Countyman wrote:

The per capita income of Richmond County is similar to it's [sic] peers.

That's why they call them peers.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/07/12 - 06:02 pm
2
0
county, I still don't

county, I still don't understand why you don't purchase a home/condo, etc. What about The Whites Building, you like that, don't you?

hotsaucemom
164
Points
hotsaucemom 08/07/12 - 06:34 pm
1
2
I hear people who live in

I hear people who live in Columbia County always down talking Richmond County,but there more car tags from Columbia County working in Richmond County ,so you moroms depend on Richmond County to get a pay cheque is Augusta so bad and there are so many gangs why I see so many people from Columbia County working here in Augusta? Quit your job and work else where AND BEWARE OF THE FABRICATED GANGS THE RIGHT - WING NEWS NEDIA FROM THE CHRONICLE PUBLISHED, MY KIDS 8, 9, CAN SPRAY PAINT ON A BUILDING.

countyman
20581
Points
countyman 08/07/12 - 07:09 pm
0
0
Augusta did grow in the last

The census says Augusta grew in the last ten years. Richmond county gained the population it lost between(2000-2005), and more by 2010.. Please continue to bring up the past while they build another neighborhood off Jimmie Dyess(the entrance is right by the traffic light near Zaxbys), 240 units(Gateway) break ground at Wheeler Town Park, the construction of 80 additional townhomes at the Dunnington continue, and the 200 acre Haynes Station neighborhood(on Gordon hwy between Jimmie Dyess and Grovetown) moves along..

The closing of three food lions, K-Mart, Mikes Furniture, etc around Columbia County shows the white people living in the older parts of South Augusta, Harrisburg, etc aren't moving anymore compared to 2000-2005.. The Cookout opening at 1801 Walton Way(empty lot at Walton Way/Crawford Ave) is basically located in Harrisburg.. The Bi-Lo on Peach Orchard and Tobacco rd were both renovated in South Augusta..

Let's please stop bashing individual counties, because developers look at the entire metro area..

Back to Top

Top headlines

Missing teen's body found in woods

Nicholas Charles Dunn, 18, missing since Friday, was found in the woods behind Cross Creek High School, according to a statement from Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen.
Search Augusta jobs