I don’t claim to be an expert on Democratic primaries. But when you decide to hold your campaign kickoff, and the NAACP shows up in force to remind voters of a past incident unfavorable to your campaign, I’m guessing that’s not a good thing.
Hodges was the special prosecutor in a case where unarmed Kenneth Walker was shot and killed by a Muscogee County Deputy, and a grand jury in the case failed to indict. The incident and following legal (in)action inflamed racial tensions in the area, and many in the african american community blamed Hodges for failing to secure an indictment.
The Columbus Ledger Inquirer picks up the story:
Hodges held his news conference in plaza of the Government Center, the same building he presented his case to the grand jury. As Hodges talked, about 20 supporters listened. In the back of the room were Georgia NAACP President Edward DuBose and other local civil rights leaders, who took the podium before Hodges reached the elevator.
DuBose said Hodges had “returned to the scene of the crime.”
The NAACP plans to be present “every single time,” Hodges holds a public event in Columbus.
“That’s fine,” Hodges said. “This is a democracy.”
DuBose made it clear what he thinks of Hodges.
“We see Ken Hodges as one of those people with the blood of Kenneth Walker on his hands,” DuBose said.
However, I’m not aware of any Democrat facing a primary that has the NAACP vowing to show up at all of his events, either. This one deserves some attention. If Hodges has any chance of prevailing in this primary, he has to hope that this stays a local issue.