Senate, mayoral candidates tout qualifications in east Augusta

Augusta candidates for mayor and state Senate faced a skeptical crowd at a Thursday forum in east Augusta.

State Sen. Hardie Davis called himself a “native son” sent by the area to Georgia Tech and the Capitol who now wants to be mayor, in part “for the 31,000 students that are part of our school system.”

T.W. Josey High School educator Lori Myles called herself “the infrastructure this city needs” who won’t be “a repetition” of existing leadership as mayor.

“Where was the experience four years ago, or seven years ago, or eight years ago?” she asked.

“I’ve carried the load for this community and this city,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason. “Not since Ed McIntyre have you had the opportunity to have a mayor who has commissioner experience,” Mason said, touting his two commission terms as good preparation for the mayor’s post.

Retired businessman Charles Cummings said he was “uniquely qualified to train young folks to become entrepreneurs” and repeated his campaign focus of improving public transit.

Entrepreneur Helen Blocker-Adams showed a photo of flooding in east Augusta from 1970, then reminded the standing-room only crowd of serious flooding in 1990.

“You’ve had elected officials for all these years – who has your back?” she asked. “Who has the compassion?”

Attorney Harold Jones, who is running for state Senate from District 22, which spans most of Augusta, said he’d supported Sheriff Richard Roundtree “before it was fashionable” but pointed to a crisis of state funding cuts in Atlanta.

“When they say they’re going to cut Medicaid, they do. Cut education they have,” Jones said, promising to work to preserve funding.

Realtor Elmyria Chivers said the same trust home-buyers place in her they should have in electing her senator.

“I am passionate about education,” Chivers said, pointing to the lottery Georgia uses to decide which 4-year-olds get to attend prekindergarten.

“If we’re going to educate one set of 4-year-olds, we should not stop until we do them all,” she said.

Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson said he’d grown up in east Augusta and decided to run for office at age 33.

“How many people at that age do you know who are willing, publicly, to do it,” Johnson said.

On the commission, Johnson said he’d been threatened about his push to name Augusta’s new courthouse for noted civil rights attorney John Ruffin, but didn’t give in.

“It just shows you times as these God put people in place for a reason,” said Johnson, who is running for Davis’ General Assembly seat.

The candidates, all on the May 20 ballot, then took questions on topics ranging from the special purpose local option sales tax referendum, deepening the Savannah harbor, what to do with leftover funds from prior tax packages and how to help nonviolent offenders re-enter society.

Chivers said she’d “advocate and fight to change that zero tolerance for our schools” that replaced a trip to the principal’s office with an arrest and visit to jail.

“I believe in second, third, fourth and fifth chances,” Blocker-Adams said.

“Our young people have to realize they are somebody,” said Cummings, recalling words he’d heard as a youth that he’d “never amount to anything.”

Mason said “it amazes me how the Bible has been taken out of school, but it’s encouraged in prison.”

Myles said “if you don’t have at least one to five mentees on your telephone at this time, then already you failed.”

Davis cited his work in the Legislature, and continued effort to eliminate the publication of jail mug shots.

Despite the rousing speeches, Marlo Ross said she wasn’t convinced. In east Augusta, it continues to flood, roads are riddled with potholes and decades later, issues aren’t resolved.

“The biggest thing is people talk and say stuff, but are they going to do what they say they’re going to do?” Ross said.
Asked whether she favored any of the candidates, Ross said “not yet.” “People can say things, but they’ve still got to do actions,” she said.

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Pops
7781
Points
Pops 04/18/14 - 07:33 am
3
1
Really good quotes in the article

“I believe in second, third, fourth and fifth chances,” Blocker-Adams said.

What in the world does a ceremonial, highly paid, non-essential mayor have to do with the school system? Do any of these job applicants really believe any of this tripe they are spewing?

avidreader
3128
Points
avidreader 04/18/14 - 07:52 am
5
1
Agree With Pops!

Spewing is the key word. I believe that Blocker-Adams is a good woman and believes in her convictions; however, she has no idea of the boundaries she will face if elected. And, we do not need another bleeding heart in political office. We need business-minded leadership, not social workers.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/18/14 - 08:02 am
2
2
Yawn
Unpublished

Hardie Davis = Pro SPLOST and higher Property Taxes
Blocker-Adams = Fluffy motivational speaker. (and what's up with the hyphenated name?)
Myles = No chance
Cummings = Less Chance
Mason = The Real Deal

Butterman
3680
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Butterman 04/18/14 - 08:05 am
3
2
entrepreneur
Unpublished

Helen Blocker-Adams is repeatedly referred to as an "entrepreneur".. What does that mean? What business does she own? How many people does it employee? What has she built? Where has she been the past 8 years?

story1
802
Points
story1 04/18/14 - 08:19 am
0
2
Splost

Did Hardie avoid the Splost topic? Glad to see more of the candidates are speaking out against the Splost our current Mayor schemed.
Voting Mason and voting NO Splost.

seenitB4
85748
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seenitB4 04/18/14 - 08:37 am
3
1
Yawn

Too much fluff & not enough gruff!

Little Lamb
45360
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Little Lamb 04/18/14 - 09:06 am
4
0
Unemployment

From the story, we get this question:

Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson said he’d grown up in east Augusta and decided to run for office at age 33. “How many people at that age do you know who are willing, publicly, to do it?” Johnson asked.

Well, someone who does not have a real job is willing, publicly, to do it.

Riverman1
82436
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Riverman1 04/18/14 - 09:16 am
3
0
Motivational Speakers and Mailbox Money

The large number of candidates with fringe types is good for Alvin Mason. He came to Augusta with the Army and many blacks consider him an outsider. He has not experienced strong support in past elections although he’s obviously won. Hardie Davis has the black machine of preachers behind him, but I believe the fringe candidates will pull votes from him. Helen Blocker-Adams will pull votes from Mason. As Butterman asks, exactly what has Helen Blocker-Adams done? The Chronicle who has supported her in past elections describes her as an entrepreneur and motivation speaker. Heck, I call all of them motivational speakers. I’d like to see her income from those two “jobs.” I suspect there’s some of that mailbox money taking care of her if you know what I mean.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/18/14 - 10:10 am
1
1
Corey
Unpublished

Little Lamb.. of course Corey has a job.. how else can he afford those expensive cashmere sweaters. His job is carrying the water for Billy and his boys. Do you think for a chance that Corey would have refused that bribe from David Fry if Mason had not run to the police first?

justthefacts
21402
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justthefacts 04/18/14 - 10:11 am
0
1
Funny

LOL @ LL.

Butterman
3680
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Butterman 04/18/14 - 10:12 am
0
1
River Wrong Again
Unpublished

HBA is taking votes from Hardie.. mason should be glad she is in the race. mason won two terms on the commission by HUGE margins.. 65%+ The Cabal is hedging their bets with Hardie and HBA

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/18/14 - 10:14 am
0
1
Riverman
Unpublished

She used to hang out at The Peach Orchard Road post office all the time. had some sort of mail order business. I would love to see the media actually look into what kind of an "entreprenuer" she actually is

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 04/18/14 - 10:24 am
0
0
Didn't Mason lose the first

Didn't Mason lose the first time he ran?

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/18/14 - 10:35 am
1
0
Nope
Unpublished

He won both times by big margins.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/18/14 - 10:36 am
0
0
Bets
Unpublished

let's take bets when Billy's mouthpiece will endorse the "motivational speaker".

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/18/14 - 11:19 am
0
1
Mailbox Money
Unpublished

Yep, I know what you mean.

GeorgiaCarolina
164
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GeorgiaCarolina 04/18/14 - 11:32 am
1
0
How do I join?

Does anyone know how I can join " the Cabal"? I bet "the Cabal" has fabulous cocktail parties. I am always hearing about "the Cabal", but never hear exactly what it is. I bet members of "the Cabal" don't even know they are members of "the Cabal". I would love to be able to tell people I have been at one of my "the Cabal" meetings.

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 04/18/14 - 03:50 pm
1
0
Getting In The Cabal

Georgia-Carolina, you can’t fill out an application to get in. What do you think this is the Boy Scouts? I will be on the Riverwalk at 5pm tomorrow wearing a red shirt, a fedora pulled down in front, reflective sunglasses and a fake mustache. You won’t see me at first, but I’ll be watching you. To show if you can follow orders, I expect you to hop on one leg every ten yards as you move from one end of the walk to the other. I’ll meet you eventually and get some information from you and an application fee. We’ll be watching you for at least two years before we decide. Never speak of our meeting.

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