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Word: Black, like us

if a white candidate were to win the 2009 mayoral race, it would be just as significant in political terms as Maynard Jackson's victory in 1973'

Earlier this week, a memo by African American political operative Aaron Turpeau calling on black leaders to join forces to ensure the election of a black mayor injected controversy into, well, the mayor’s race.

“The view that the times are too serious to stand on the sidelines is absolutely correct from the perspective of a black mayor at all cost. In fact, if a white candidate were to win the 2009 mayoral race, it would be just as significant in political terms as Maynard Jackson’s victory in 1973.”

— Turpeau, from his memo

“These tactics divide the very community that has made Atlanta emerge as a leading city in the South and dishonors the legacies of Mayors Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young, Ivan Allen, Sam Massell, and William Hartsfield.”

— Mayoral candidate Kasim Reed, in a Thursday press statement

“I reject the analysis offered by Aaron Turpeau. He is absolutely wrong. I oppose anyone, of any race, who would distract us from what is important today.”

— Candidate Lisa Borders, in a Thursday press statement

“Mary’s take on all of this is that she is who she is and people are going to judge her on her ideas, value and ability.”

— Roman Levit, campaign manager for candidate Mary Norwood, as quoted Thursday by the AJC

(Photo by Joeff Davis)