Smithville mayoral race loses candidate

SMITHVILLE — David Bady is obviously not a man who minces words.

In a letter sent to local news media and received by The Albany Herald Monday, Bady announced that he had reconsidered and was withdrawing as a candidate for mayor of Smithville. His reason for withdrawing from the Nov. 8 municipal election? “I do not want to split the black vote.”

“On this date (Sept. 15), I have officially withdrawn my candidacy for mayor for the city of Smithville,” Bady wrote in the letter. “The reason for this withdrawal is because I do not want to split the black vote. While one of my opponents (John Word) stated a desire to accomplish similar things that I advocated, I do not trust him to (do) so.”

Contacted Monday evening, Bady said Word had given him no reason to believe he’d be able to accomplish some of the things he’s said he would if elected.

“I just don’t trust him based on his past,” Bady said. “So I didn’t feel that I should take any of the black vote from (incumbent mayor) Mr. (Jerry) Myrick. That’s the only reason I made this decision.”

Messages left with Word seeking comment Monday were not answered by press time, but Myrick, who is in his eighth year as Smithville’s mayor, said after having parts of Bady’s letter read to him that it “sounds good.”

“I’m surprised (by Bady’s announcement), but what he’s saying sounds good,” Myrick said. Asked about Bady’s reason for withdrawing, the mayor said, “I’m going to leave that alone.”

Bady, who had criticized Myrick’s “lack of leadership” when the former qualified to run for office, said he will work hard on Myrick’s behalf.

“I feel that working with the current mayor, I will be abe to better accomplish my goals and support this community,” Bady wrote. “Therefore, I am strongly supporting the re-election of Jerry Myrick for mayor, city of Smithville.

“I will continue my voter registration efforts with a voter registration drive to be held on Saturday, September 24th at Gunny’s Place, located at 108 Main St., Smithville, Ga.”

Myrick, meanwhile, said he would continue his campaign for a third term without making unattainable promises.

“I don’t want to promise too much and not be able to deliver,” he said. “If we get enough SPLOST (special-purpose local-option sales tax) money, I’d like to get the rest of the city hooked up to our sewer system. And hopefully, if the economy picks up, we can add a business in the community.”

Bady said his decision does not mean he’s giving up on a possible future political run.

“This is not an end to my political career,” he said. “I just think there might be a better time for me to run down the road. This decision (to withdraw) was a difficult one, but I think I made the best choice.”