No matter who wins, it will be historic.
Though the “old city,” pre-consolidation Augusta elected a black county commissioner, Ed McIntyre, mayor in 1981, and former Augusta-Richmond County Commissioner Willie Mays served as interim mayor for six months after the resignation of former Mayor Bob Young, the 18-year-old consolidated government has never had an elected black mayor.
It will in January, though, as the five candidates who made good on campaign announcements and filed qualifying paperwork are black.
Among those on the May 20 ballot are state Sen. Hardie Davis, D-Augusta, a south Augusta pastor and businessman who has served eight years in the state Legislature; Commissioner Alvin Mason, a retired Army sergeant serving his second term on the commission; and Charles
Cummings, a retired restaurateur.
Mason, a Michigan native, said he had not given the color factor “a thought,” preferring only to be “an effective mayor,” while Davis pointed to McIntyre and said the election would garner “a lot of interest.”
Cummings felt the color shift will be “interesting,” but “my concern about people goes across color lines,” he said.