mostlycloudy
Monday May 2nd, 2016 4:49AM

Augusta-Richmond County to elect 1st black mayor

By The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) The next mayoral election in Augusta is guaranteed to make history, regardless of who wins.

All five candidates who filed qualifying paperwork last week to run for mayor are African-American. And that means Augusta-Richmond County will have its first elected black mayor since the city and county governments consolidated 18 years ago, The Augusta Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/PiULe4 ).

The candidates themselves aren't making a big deal about the racial makeup of the field in the 2014 mayor's race.

``I am excited about being the first female mayor of Augusta-Richmond County, period,'' said mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams, a small business owner.

Augusta has never had a woman serve in the mayor's office, before or after consolidation. Another mayoral candidate trying to change that is school teacher Lori Myles.

The other candidates for mayor are state Sen. Hardie Davis, a south Augusta pastor and businessman; Commissioner Alvin Mason, a retired Army sergeant; and Charles Cummings, a retired restaurateur.

It won't be the first time an African-American has served in the mayor's office. Ed McIntyre was elected Augusta's first black mayor in 1981, long before consolidation. And Commissioner Willie Mays was appointed mayor of Augusta-Richmond County in 2005 to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Bob Young, who resigned to take a job in the administration of President George W. Bush.

``I don't think it's significant or important what the race is of the next mayor,'' said Commissioner Donnie Smith, one of four white members of the 10-member Augusta-Richmond County Commission. Five commissioners are black and one is Asian-American. Smith said having a black mayor ``may make some of the divisiveness that is constantly talked about go away.''

With women making up two-thirds of registered voters locally, it's possible Augusta will see a gender shift beyond just the mayor's office. Three women are running for two commission seats in the May 20 primary. Commissioner Mary Davis is the only woman currently serving.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 1 year ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
Food, cars, music and art combine for weekend entertainment in Northeast Georgia
People around Northeast Georgia found several activities to keep them busy over the weekend.
10:00AM ( 5 hours from now )
DNR postpones search for missing man in Lake Lanier; Will resume Monday
Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are continuing to search for a man who went missing in Lake Lanier Saturday evening.
9:13PM ( 7 hours ago )
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society receives $5,000 grant
The BISSELL Pet Foundation, supported in part by BISSELL Homecare, Inc., has awarded $5,000 to The Dahlonega Lumpkin County Humane Society to support its life-saving efforts.
By AccessWDUN staff
9:00PM ( 7 hours ago )
Elephants perform for final time at Ringling Bros. circus
Elephants are performing for the last time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday
7:50PM ( 8 hours ago )
Police searching for Florida man for shooting ex-girlfriend outside Gwinnett Walmart
Police are searching for a Florida man accused of shooting his former girlfriend outside a Walmart in suburban Atlanta.
By Associated Press
7:03PM ( 9 hours ago )