Mon., July 18, 2011 2:45pm (EDT)

Macon Primary Election Turns Ugly
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 3 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Pamphlet left anonymosly in some Macon neighborhoods (photo Josephine Bennett)
Pamphlet left anonymosly in some Macon neighborhoods (photo Josephine Bennett)
On Tuesday people in Macon will elect primary candidates for mayor and several members of city council. The nasty tone of the campaigns is drawing criticism from unlikely places.

Reverend Eddie Smith has been Pastor of Macedonia Church for 39 years. An African American he says he’s appalled by the divisive mudslinging and false statements. He’s supporting two white members of city council running for re-election.

“We are living in a multi-cultural and pluralistic society, and there is room for all of us to sit at the same table to work for the good of the whole community.”

Over the weekend, pamphlets showed up in some urban neighborhoods urging people to vote along racial lines. The papers showed a drawing of some white members of the community being slave holders.

Former Macon NAACP president Al Tillman is also supporting white candidates. He says it’s time for Macon politics to move past race.

“I think sometimes they think we don’t respect history and that we can’t trust some of the folks that they can trust. But, I think it’s a new day and a new era.”

The race for Macon’s mayor has been less contentious. The four mayoral candidates include the incumbent Robert Reichert, one former mayor Jack Ellis, state senator Robert Brown and newcomer Paul Bronson. Since all are Democrats, a candidate with more than 50 of the vote would become the next mayor.