Gubernatorial Candidates Missing in Action

Rashad Richey with Stacey Evans candidate for Governor at community forum.

Last night all the Georgia gubernatorial candidates were invited to participate in a community forum at Atlanta Technical College.  Of the nine candidates invited five confirmed their attendance yet only one candidate for the Governor of Georgia appeared before the packed audience – Representative Stacey Evans.

 

The event hosted by Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Zeta Phi Beta sorority, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill was moderated by news anchor Deidra Dukes and CBS 46 and WAOKs Rashad Richey.  Richey posted a picture of the packed room on his Facebook page and said he will give detailed thoughts of the event on his daily show on WAOK – Real Talk with Rashad Richey.  [Enter your Facebook/Marc Zuckerberg appearing before the Senate committee today joke HERE!]

 

The absence of the republican candidates is not surprising.  Atlanta Technical College is inside of I-285 and the African American sororities, fraternities, and organizations that hosted this meeting are not the typical republican voters.  Yet it is advised that they not confirm and then no-show – that is just tacky.

Which is why the absence of Stacey Abrams is pretty disheartening.  Not only did she confirm her attendance, but it is likely that she was a front-runner with this predominantly African American crowd before the event started.  It is as if Abrams is taking the African American vote for granted.

This is not the first event where the absence of Abrams was noted at a time when both candidates were expected to attend.  Earlier this year at the Ebenezer Baptist Church annual Martin Luther King Jr. day celebration one democratic candidate appeared to honor Dr. King …. Evans.  Abrams, running on the excitement of potentially being the first black governor, was not found at any MLK Day celebration anywhere in the state.

To highlight which of the two candidates cared enough to appear at the event, Evans put out a video on social media.  Evans’ team stated the video was intended to make it clear Evans will not take the African American issues and votes for granted if elected Governor.  The video was quickly spun by Abrams supporters and criticized as a tone-deaf misstep for Evans and her team.

Also this year, Abrams was a no-show for a Fulton County Democrats gala where Evans was the only candidate who took time to appear.  Fulton County being one of the largest African American voting blocks in the state – it is beginning to seem that Abrams doesn’t think she needs to talk to black voters outside of Sunday morning sermons.  It has been said when Abrams speaks on her church tour she energizes the room and turns churches of every denomination into a Baptist church celebration.  Yet when it is time to talk policy and not rhetoric, when the candidates will have to stack their positions next to each other in open forums – one has been a no-show more times than not.

With the Atlanta Tech stage to herself, Evans was able to discuss how she spent much of her legislative career ensuring funding for technical schools like Atlanta Tech where the event was held.   Evans was the lead sponsor for fully funding the HOPE Grant for technical students throughout the state.  Atlanta Technical College’s student body is 95% African American.  African Americans make up approximately 52% of enrollment in Georgia’s technical schools – making Evans’ work fundamental for African Americans in the state seeking the upward mobility education provides.

Hopefully Democrats will follow the lead of the organizers of this well attended event and attempt to educate themselves about the true positions of the candidates by hearing them out.  The Staceys’ resumes and experience are too similar to rely on fanfare.  Voters will need to listen closely to make a good decision.  Shout out to these great historic organizations for bringing the politics to the people.

As a progressive, I must mention that either Stacey is far better than any of the Republican no-shows.  Both women would be making HISTORY as the first woman governor of Georgia.  Both women would be ready to lead day one.  May, rather than November, is when Democrats have to do the hard work to choose between the two.

 

14
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
10 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Pragmatic ProgressiveEllynndrjayAndrew C. PopeScottNAtlanta Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Scot
Scot

Gmorning, LBJ!

Most of the GOP candidates were at a live broadcast forum in Cobb County. There will be plenty of time after the primary to have bipartisan events. We are still in intramurals over here. See you after the runoff!

Benevolus
Benevolus

That seems pretty cynical, but of course it’s no mystery why a candidate would feel that way; the message they project during the primary is different than the message they will project in a general. A candidate who is not afraid of their own messaging would not need to avoid forums like this.

The other possibility is that they don’t feel like a Dem would be competitive so no need to stoop to such a battle.

We shall see.

xdog
xdog

I don’t see how any ambitious black pol could miss MLK celebration at Ebeneezer unless she or her family was sick, and even then I’d like to see the note from her doctor.

What goper candidates accepted invitations and didn’t show?

aprilburke
aprilburke

Both Staceys confirmed for the Bulloch County Democratic Gala, as well. Only one showed up. I’ll let you guess which one, but I agree… tacky.

Lawton Sack
Lawton Sack

3 fringe candidates: Eddie Hayes, Marc Urbach, and Michael Williams.

xdog
xdog

Thanks.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Politics is about retail. If you think you can skip that part you will be very disappointed. You have to show up. I wonder how many votes in that room switched to Evans…and how many of their friends votes changed as well

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

LBJ, you and I both know that Abrams was busy reaching out to her most important constituencies: Brooklyn hipsters, the New York Times editorial page, and out-of-state donors who have zero understanding of Georgia politics and zero connections to the state.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

I’ve pointed that out multiple times. Abrams is quite popular…with those outside of GA. She needs to be careful, because Evans is doing the retail stuff thats necessary IN GA

drjay
drjay

i’d be very surprised if 80% of the folks in the room don’t still vote for abrams next month…evans may have won a few over, but will it be enough to matter?

Ellynn
Ellynn

It’s just not Atlanta events either. If your running for state office you need to show up at some event in Savannah during St Patrick’s Day weekend. You either need to be in the parade, at one of the many private events, or at a scheduled meet and greet. Most major Republicans were in town. Evans had multiple events (public and private) Friday afternoon. Where was Abrams? She was in Denver.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

I’m also starting to see Evans commercials on TV…not one for Abrams. Its almost as if she (Abrams) believes she has this won.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I’ve seen it now too. It’s pretty good- if a bit generic looking-, but I think it means she at least has some money.

Pragmatic Progressive
Pragmatic Progressive

The Abrams campaign already explained the scheduling conflict. This article is a reach. Abrams has been investing in black communities across this state, because changing the make-up of the Georgia electorate is critical to her victory. The notion that she is taking the black vote for granted, because she didn’t go where you wanted her to go is ludicrous.