Race affecting the race for Augusta mayor

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a first since consolidation of Augusta-Richmond County to have all black candidates running for the office of mayor.

It's also the first time since consolidation that a white candidate has not been in the race for mayor.

"That could be interpreted in two ways. The question is why couldn't they all coordinate around one or two candidates? The other thing is you could say this is healthy for democracy," Paine College assistant history professor Andre' Key said. "Some might argue that it wasn't feasible, but a particular white candidate with a particular message could have easily been in this race."

Some considered fired City Administrator Fred Russell the "Great White Hope" in the mayor's race. Russell had a campaign manager and had already started planning. Things changed once commissioner Marion Williams went after Russell's hard drive on his work computer. Russell dropped out the race the next day.

Dr. key says that leaves the white vote up for grabs. He also says having all black candidates will split the black vote.

"If i was a candidate what group should i focus on. I would say focus on the registered black women and the white women," Key said.

We looked at voter turnout from the 2012 November election in Augusta Richmond county. African American women turned out in the highest numbers at 70 percent and the second largest group was white women.

Dr. Key says neither female candidate has appealed to female voters who want to help make history in Augusta.

After looking at the number of whites and African Americans who voted in November 2012, he predicts the candidate who carries the majority of the white vote will win the race.

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