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Smyre, Hugley, Flakes Backed Losing Mayor


By Amanda Smith


Bob Poydasheff


Surprise, surprise….Columbus, Georgia mayor Bob Poydasheff was surrounded by all the right people in the mayoral race, not to mention being the incumbent.  His opponent Jim Wetherington, the former Chief of Police had very little high-powered political power on his side.  So what happened?


Jim Wetherington


Poydasheff had very powerful Republicans and Democrats endorsing him.  Calvin Smyre, one of the most powerful Blacks in the Georgia Legislature and former state chairman for the Democratic Party, as well as House Democratic whip Carolyn Hugley and two members of the Muscogee County School Board endorsed Poydasheff in this election.  He had bank presidents, physicians, retired Army officers and a host of black ministers, led by the Rev.J.H. Flakes of Fourth Street Baptist Church.

Calvin Smyre


Reverend Flakes and the Fourth Street Baptist Church has long been a place of worship as well as a beginning for black and white candidates alike to gather the African American vote.  Flakes even recorded a telephone endorsement for Poydasheff.

Carolyn Hugley


Yet, Poydasheff was defeated.  This happened probably for a number of reasons.  Wetherington started campaigning earlier than Poydasheff, raising more in funds than the incumbent.  Poydasheff also lost a lot of votes due to his Republican ties, namely his past voting record and his relationship with Sonny Perdue.


Wetherington also gained many votes due to his record as police chief.   “He sucked the gangs out of the black community,” said radio personality Edgar Buchanan.  “We know what we’re getting in Mr. Wetherington.  Mr. Poydasheff talked too many different ways.”


In any event, Wetherington’s surprise victory promises change for Columbus, Georgia.  On election night, former mayor Frank Martin said that Wetherington’s victory will surely lead to the formation of new political coalitions.


You are Visitor #  Hit Counter   Updated Wednesday April 05, 2006 12:40:42



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