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(Savannah Morning News via AP)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Organizers of a meeting to discuss an upcoming mayoral race in Georgia barred reporters from attending — unless they were African-American.

The Wednesday meeting at a church in Savannah was held to try to unite the city’s black community behind a single candidate for mayor in the Nov. 5 election. Signs at the door said “Black Press Only!”

White reporters were denied entry, while at least two black reporters and the publisher of a local African-American newspaper were allowed inside, the Savannah Morning News reported . Television cameras and recording devices were also prohibited.

The newspaper said the Rev. Clarence Teddy Williams, who organized the meeting, declined to discuss the entry policy.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach is seeking re-election this fall. He became Savannah’s first white mayor in 20 years after winning the 2015 campaign. Elections for Savannah’s top office are nonpartisan, meaning all candidates who qualify end up on the November ballot.

Van Johnson, a Savannah city councilman and one of three black mayoral candidates to have announced campaigns so far, attended the Wednesday meeting at Bolton Street Baptist Church. Johnson said afterward he relayed “my vision for an inclusive Savannah, a progressive Savannah.”

Asked by WTOC-TV about only black reporters being allowed inside, Johnson said: “It’s not my meeting. Again, I was asked to come give a statement, and so I came and I gave a statement.”

Louis Wilson, who says he’s running for mayor again after an unsuccessful 2015 campaign, also attended the meeting.

Regina Thomas, a former Georgia state senator and one of the incumbent mayor’s black challengers, skipped the church gathering Wednesday. She said the meeting appeared divisive and was scheduled too early in the campaign. The deadline for candidates to sign up for the race is Aug. 23. Thomas said she also had a scheduling conflict: her Bible study group met Wednesday night.

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11 thoughts on “Only Black Reporters Allowed In Georgia Mayoral Race Event

  1. Phoenix Rising on said:

    The “others” have been doing this to us for how long? And, continue to. About time. I don’t blame the Rev. Don’t let them in. They’ll only muck it up with their lying @sses. So what if they’re offended. We’ve been offended for years! F*ck em!

    • I like how there are people on here agreeing with the policy… its like saying what the white people did in the past was fine it was just to the wrong color people. Nobody should be banned from somewhere due to their skin color. 2 wrongs don’t make a right… this should be simple stuff

  2. Ted Gravely on said:

    Rev. Clarence Teddy Williams keep those devils out. Why should we feel the need to include them in anything we do? “Blacks Only” is a whole different twist. #45 has a white racist only administration. Blacks need to unite and get our stuff together. Salute to Rev Williams. Keep the wicked white devil out. The only thing they are good for is lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving and destroying.

  3. African American Woman on said:

    Ok. If this is ok for us to do to others; its ok for others to do to us. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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