ATLANTA (February 17, 2012) – "This untimely effort is nothing more than an attempt to dilute the voting strength of the citizens of Augusta by inserting another Republican legislator from Columbia County into its legislative delegation". Senator Hardie Davis (D-Augusta) has offered the following statement regarding the Senate Redistricting Committee’s decision to draw the 24th Senate District into Richmond County.
“This disingenuous and extremely polarizing move was done without any input from the residents of Richmond County, or the duly and legally elected legislative delegation. I am disappointed to witness decades of progress destroyed by a few elitists who believe they know best simply because of their wealth. Richmond County has spent many years working to move away from divisive racial politics in favor of a united, cohesive community working together to promote economic and social progress. This misguided and unethical political ploy will negatively impact Richmond County by undoing decades of accomplishments.
This untimely effort is nothing more than an attempt to dilute the voting strength of the citizens of Augusta by inserting another Republican legislator from Columbia County into its legislative delegation. More outrageous is the knowledge that the proposed new map is the direct result of efforts by members of Augusta's own business community who believe in controlling every aspect of the city.
In counties like Richmond, Fulton, Dekalb and Bibb—counties recognized as Democratic strongholds in Georgia and predominantly African American—the Republican-controlled legislature has taken aggressive steps like this to weaken the African-American vote.
Augusta cannot stand quiet and allow back-room deals and underhanded tactics to prevail without public scrutiny. These actions further polarize the Augusta community and set it back 50 years.
I pledge to fight this effort by all means available, including petitioning the United States Department of Justice to intervene. I further pledge to continue my work on behalf of the constituents of District 22 with nothing less than the utmost respect and dedication.”