Did a city commission candidate try to reduce the number of black voters? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Did a city commission candidate try to reduce the number of black voters?

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February 26, 2004

Albany-An Albany city commission candidate says her opponent once tried to reduce the number of black voters in his district.

Joann Pope says that after city commissioner Bo Dorough was elected in 1999, he supported a redistricting proposal to make Ward Four overwhelmingly white.  The Justice Department rejected the plan. Pope says, "In this map that was submitted in 1999, it takes West town completely out of Ward 4 and makes it a safe white district.  He voted for that to see this plan taking West town out."

"I'm delighted the West Town precinct remained in Ward four following the federal court order that resolved the redistricting process.  The fact of the matter is the constituents in Ward four and particularly the West Town precinct was satisfied with my representation ," responds Dorough.

Dorough says Pope's claim is a desperate ploy to win votes at the last minute.

Former Ward four candidate Terrence Kennedy is supporting Pope.  He formally announced his endorsement of Pope today at the Government center.

Kennedy says he and Pope have campaigned the hardest, and their visions for improving the city are similar. Kennedy claims, "She wants to bring back town hall meetings in the Wards to keep people informed of what's going on.  She wants to help with the paving of Alice. She wants to help with recreational facilities.

Kennedy also says Dorough has falsely accused Pope of not supporting the Albany State stadium.

Pope and Dorough face off in the Ward Four runoff Tuesday.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 6:32