Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Georgia: Dems take black vote for granted at their own peril...

Democrats court black votes Taylor, Cox need them to win primary, experts say

By JIM THARPE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution04/30/06 .....Even Brooks, however, is quick to point out the black vote is not monolithic or controllable by community power brokers. Members of the Legislative Black Caucus, in fact, have split over Taylor and Cox. Young's support of Taylor, meanwhile has been mitigated by other civil rights leaders who have strongly criticized Young for his support of Wal-Mart. And some black power figures, most notably Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, have stayed clear of the fight.
State Rep. Stan Watson (D-Decatur), who chairs the caucus, said his organization had not taken an official position in the race.
"But I'm personally supporting Cathy Cox, not as chairman of the Black Caucus, but as an individual," he said. Watson said both campaigns have approached him for his backing.
State Rep. Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus), who is also backing Cox, said she doesn't believe Taylor's strategy of enlisting black power brokers will give him an edge with black voters.
"I think black voters are more independent now than ever," she said. "Even if a black leader says vote for a particular candidate, voters will still take a look for themselves. This is not business as usual. Candidates are going to have to earn each vote."...

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