Macon’s city council is now majority minority, i.e. majority white. All candidates whose races I ran won.
UPDATED: I sent this from my iPhone last night just before 10:30 in answer to several emails and one comment on the previous thread. I’d like to expand on this a bit this morning.
I don’t want to be accused of race baiting. That’s not the intent at all. This just happens to be a very big deal in Macon today.
Eight years ago, the majority black population of Macon turned out a majority white city council and shifted the dynamics of city council to reflect the city’s population. At the same time, the city elected it’s first black mayor
C. Jack Ellis Hakeem Mansour Ellis. Four years after that, the black voters and white voters had a fairly ugly split with the white voters voting white and the black voters voting black. The black voters won and preserved the status quo.
This year, a lot of people, myself included, predicted that would happen again. Needless to say, we were all wrong and the results speak for themselves.
Both black and white voters united to elect Robert Reichert mayor and put Rick Hutto and Larry Schlesinger on City Council. They are white and Rabbi Schlesinger ran against the local NAACP President. Two largely black wards elected Mike Cranford, Ed Defore, and Tom Ellington, all three of whom are white. The white community really didn’t get to participate at the ward level because all three candidates, myself included, ran unopposed and therefore weren’t on the ballot. But, last night, North Macon turned out in droves to give Miriam Paris a stellar mandate for change. She is black. Black voters rallied around her too.
The city is, I think, largely moving beyond race. Next year will be the very interesting challenge when we have Sam Hart, a black man, running against Charlie Bishop, a white man, county-wide for Commission Chairman. Sam is very popular across racial demographics and may do in the county what Reichert did in the city. Of course Charlie Bishop is an old street fighter and just might deliver a knock out punch.
In any event, it is nice to see Macon finally moving away from the old paradigm of black voters voting for black candidates and white voters voting for white candidates. It is time to move on and the voters have delivered a strong new city council that is prepared to get up and move forward.