A new choice for mayor

With Blocker-Adams out, Hardie Davis emerges as best candidate

The suspension of Helen Blocker-Adams’ mayoral campaign punctuates a profound disappointment.

The candidate whom The Augusta Chronicle endorsed to be Augusta’s next mayor was the picture of contrition on a rainy afternoon Thursday. Reading a prepared statement, she took full responsibility for some $70,000 in debt and a history of dispossession and eviction notices.

Having financial difficulties isn’t a cardinal sin, but a repeated failure to address them in a forthright manner is. That’s doubly so when you’re seeking political office.

This page has an abiding fondness and respect for Helen Blocker-Adams. We admire her still for her can-do spirit, her relentless boosterism of our city and her willingness to help other people. But we urge her now to turn more of her energy and attention toward repairing the frailties of her finances as she continues her mission of repairing aspects of Augusta.

This obviously leads to a recasting of our mayoral endorsement.

To endorse no other candidate is tantamount to advising citizens to vote for no one, which is out of the question in an election of such importance.

In assessing the candidates, we harbored concerns about each of them. But in reassessing the now-smaller field, we feel comfortable and confident in recommending that voters elect Hardie Davis as Augusta’s next mayor May 20.

Davis has conveyed to us a renewed willingness to embrace openness at all levels of government. This cannot be understated. Openness to citizens; openness to – and from – the Augusta Commission; and especially openness to the press should be of paramount importance to the person leading this city.

His service as a Georgia state senator has honed his skills as a consensus-builder, and a uniter is absolutely the type of leader Augusta needs.

Davis grasps that the next mayor has to be an unflagging champion for Augusta. That includes being a standard-bearer in the fight to change the name of Georgia Regents University to a name that better reflects the school’s respected sense of place.

Davis brings an admirable level of sophistication and professionalism to all his endeavors. Put him in the mayor’s office, and we have no reason to expect any less.

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