News leading up to the election of Mableton mayor and council
From top – left to right are Mayoral Candidates Michael Murphy, Michael Owens, LaTonia Long, and Aaron Carman; District 1 Candidates Ron Davis and DeBorah Johnson, District 2 Candidates Monica Yvette DeLancy, Kisha Scott and Dami Oladapo; District 3 Candidates Yashica Marshall, William Wilson, Keisha Jeffcoat, Barry Krebs, and Victor Arnold; District 4 Candidates Shanequa Moore, Jennifer Anthony, Heidi Dasinger, Cassandra Brown, Robb Pendleton, Patricia Auch, Robb Graham, and Brian Patrick; District 5 Candidates Cheryl Davis, Chijioke Ebbis, TJ Ferguson, and Stephanie Joy Loose; District 6 Candidate Debora Herndon
In less than 24 hours, voters will go to the polls to elect a government for the new city of Mableton. The past week has seen candidates crisscrossing the new city to get their message to voters to earn their votes.
On Sunday evening, candidates participated in a get-out-the-vote forum in the Riverside Community. Candidates who participated included Michael Owens, Michael Murphy, Latonia Long, Ron Davis, Yashica Marshall, William Wilson, and Monica DeLancy.
On Saturday, candidates were invited to attend the Cobb Democratic meeting at Lindley Elementary to share with voters why they should be elected. Three of the four candidates for mayor were in attendance including LaTonia Long, Michael Murphy, and Michael Owens. Not in attendance was mayoral candidate Aaron Carman, who has avoided most of the community forums that have been held with the public. He and many of his fellow de-annexers have avoided community forums that were held over the past few months to allow voters to learn more about them.
We also learned that LaTonia Long raised the most money in the mayor’s race. Ron Davis picked up an endorsement from Working Families and Michael Owens picked up an endorsement from former State Rep Erick Allen.
Last week I did my part to help get out the vote. I partnered with Rev. Ben Williams of Cobb SCLC and Dr. Monica Brown with the Cobb Democracy Center to help spread the word about early voting. We also coordinated a system to provide rides to the polls for anyone in need. This effort follows the community candidate forum we hosted a few weeks earlier. Seeing the daily headlines from the local media about low voter turnout, we turned to various social media sites to also spread the word in our efforts to remind people that an important election was occurring and encourage them to exercise their right to vote.
Do you want to know what the de-annexers did last week? They held a private candidates forum and only invited fellow de-annexers to participate. These are the same people who are asking you to blindly vote for them. They are already showing you that they are not about inclusion. Just like the tea party of years gone by, they are trying to set up their own pseudo-government in Mableton under the cloak of non-partisanship.
As I was telling citizens of Mableton to go out and vote on a community social media site last week, I did not realize that I had touched a nerve and crossed a line drawn by de-annexers – who have apparently been reading SPOTLIGHT stories.
They were pretty upset that we ‘outed them’. I had told readers which candidates were in the races. Three de-annexers were hot and came after me while on the site in a coordinated attack. One was mad because I called her a Republican, which she is. Another was mad because I failed to mention her in my story. And the last one, the one with the biggest mouth, claimed I was writing negative stories about ‘her group’, the de-annexers, and how dare I write about them.
Please keep in mind that unlike the first two, the one with the big mouth is not even a candidate. In bully fashion, she tried to intimidate me with name-calling. She also questioned my profession as a journalist, among other things. I pushed back and called her the schoolyard bully that she was acting like. This made her even angrier. I found her comments good material for this week’s story and thanked her for her contribution.
She claimed to be a strong Democrat, having worked with Warnock, yet here she is pushing a Republican candidate for Mayor down our Democratic throats. She then claimed she didn’t even know that he was a Republican but said it did not matter, he still had her support. Well, it matters to the rest of us, that is why we are talking about it.
In an article, I had pointed out who were Democrats and who were Republicans in the non-partisan races for Mableton Mayor and Council seats. I also pointed out correctly that all the de-annexers were Republicans including Aaron Carman, her candidate for mayor and Patty Auch her candidate for City council district 4, among others. I pointed out that they were hiding behind the non-partisan curtain to ease into office without voters knowing their political and partisan leanings. This was another line I apparently crossed with the de-annexers, telling the truth about those asking for your vote who are hiding their true intent and their party affiliations in plain sight. This was blasphemy. How dare I point out the truth?
Yes folks, these are non-partisan races, but the voters deserve to know who shares their political beliefs and who does not. The de-annexers don’t think voters deserve to know anything. They want Mableton voters to vote blindly in the dark and are angry at me for turning the lights on to show voters their political leanings.
What gets me is that these de-annexers are the same folks demanding on one hand to dismantle the city with de-annexation (before it gets started), and on the other hand jumping into the races and asking unsuspecting citizens to vote for them with the pledge to bring about good government for Mableton. In the words of our 46th President Joe Biden, that’s a bunch of malarkey. How can you govern that which you are trying to destroy? That was my question to the de-annexers, and I guess that also rubbed them the wrong way. How can you govern the new city when you don’t want to tell anyone who you are?
There have been a few community forums to highlight the candidates, but most of the de-annexers kindly withdrew. They refused to participate or allow the voters to know what they stand for. They don’t think enough of voters to even participate, yet they want your vote.
I, along with others, say de-annex yourself from Mableton and allow us to get this city on good solid footing without your hostage demands.
I am no Nostradamus, and I cannot predict what the makeup of Mableton’s government will be, but I hope it represents the best people who are running, not those hiding behind their ideologies or their desire to destroy us before we get started.
If someone is mad about that then…sorry, not sorry!