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Race, religion become targets in final days of May 24 primary campaign

Avondale Estates Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL

Race, religion become targets in final days of May 24 primary campaign


Mailers going out to DeKalb County residents ahead of the May 24 primary are highlighting issues that are unrelated to policies or promises.

One mailer, sent on Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton’s behalf, includes a picture of her primary opponent, Steve Bradshaw, who is black, with his wife, who is white. The flier also claims that Bradshaw is “endorsed by hate groups” and does not support the NAACP.


Sutton did not return messages seeking comment about the flier. Bradshaw condemned the flier in a Facebook post.

“I regard Sharon Barnes Sutton’s most recent mailer and other deplorable tactics as an act of desperation that will be too little too late,” Bradshaw said. “Moreover, the mailer in question needs to be called exactly what it is: a pack of lies. All Miss Sutton offers is division and hatefulness. How in the world does this help you?”

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In an interview with Decaturish, Bradshaw said he believes that Sutton was “clearly” including a picture of his wife because she is white.

“I think people are focused on other things to be perfectly honest,” Bradshaw said. “I regard it as an act of desperation. My wife is not a candidate. I am. I think people on my district are focused on the issues she hasn’t been focused on: roads, more transparency in government, more business development, more money for our cops and firefighters, water bills that aren’t screwed up … That’s what I’ve been hearing from my constituency. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”

Sutton’s political consultant Warren Mosby, who has been romantically involved with Sutton in the past, is running against District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon in the May 24 primary. A mailer sent on his behalf urges Gannon’s black constituents to vote against her. It accuses her of being a “closet Republican” and says, “We cannot win this seat unless all African American Democrats vote in the primary now!”


Attempts to reach Mosby have been unsuccessful.

Gannon said she’s aware of the mailer.

“Well, somebody told me a long time ago when I first started campaigning that the way you campaign is indicative of the way you would govern if you were elected to the office,” she said. “So I prefer to just do what I do, take the high road, let the record speak for itself and if someone needs to lie and be negative, then you would probably lie and be negative if you were elected.”

In the DeKalb County State Judge race, a mailer sent by Roderick Bridges highlights incumbent Judge Dax Lopez’ religion. Lopez is Jewish.


Bridges has apologized for the mailer, which Lopez’s campaign called anti-Semitic.

“I was floored that any candidate in today’s society would distribute such hateful material,” Lopez said. “Sadly, no matter how much time passes or how much progress we make, there are still those among us that believe this type of behavior is still acceptable. I truly hoped it was in error or an oversight, however, the fact that Mr. Bridges has not contacted me to apologize is a clear indicator that he meant what he authorized. There is no place in our society for this.”