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Race Relations
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Road Map To Victory, Can You Count?
10/29/2015 11:01:06 AM
Last Updated:
10/29/2015 11:25:48 AM

Charleston Mayoral Candidate William Dudley Gregorie
By William Dudley Gregorie

On next Tuesday, November 3rd, we will have the chance to make history by electing the Charleston’s first African-American mayor.  In a city where the majority population is over sixty percent white this will have major political implications on a local, regional and national level.  It will point to the progress we have made as a community and also the fact that with the changing demographics the race of a candidate may not play a primary factor, as some would suggest.  Due to the large amount of money infused into the campaigns of my competitors, some would argue that this will play a deciding role but here is what I’d like you to consider as we approach election day.
In two runs as a candidate for mayor I was able to secure an average of nearly 4,400 votes, and not all of these were African-American.  Prognosticators and political pundits have yet to call the race because there is a dilemma that each of those well-funded campaigns still face.  

Due to the fact that three have done well, none has outraised the others by an exceptional margin thus still keeping them in a pack that can fall either way come Election Day.  With the Riley vote being 67.5 percent of the 2011 election and it being a lower overall turnout than the 2007 race, this can possibly be a trend for the 2015 race judging from the decline in absentee ballots as recently released by the election commission.  With the Riley portion being up for grabs, which places my campaign at a considerable advantage.  
Some would argue that with a field of several African-Americans, it would lessen the chance of one coming out as victor.  In my previous runs, I was never the only African-American candidate so I have grown accustomed to the situation.  Moreover, I currently represent a district that is predominately white, so I have already dispelled the currently held belief that what some propose can’t be done, a black elected by a white majority in the city, has been already done.  All that has to happen now is to translate this attitude to the race for mayor, which a black candidate can win in a predominantly white city.  It is true; our past is mired in racial inadequacy, segregation, and rooted in the slave trade.  It is a history that we cannot deny nor forget, but our future is now predicated on making the doors of city hall a place where all of our citizens have the chance and opportunity to serve, even at the highest level.
So as you go to the polls, share this information and dispel the propaganda and rumors that this is a futile effort.  While a runoff is the prediction of most, there is a win in the equation if you can see the numbers falling the way they may.  Do the math.  If the average that I mentioned earlier is maintained, and add twenty percent of the Riley votes, folks we have a race. The numbers don’t lie.  You need to know this and spread the word because this is the type of information you must know to see that a win is realistic and possible.  If our base is held, and we do not succumb to the groupthink of it can’t be done, I’m here to tell you, yes we can.  On November 3rd, lets make a statement, black and white, that the time has come and the city of Charleston has truly arrived.  Out of our painful legacy and recent tragic events, we can all take pride in making this victory possible.  Now that you can count, can I count on you?

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