AP NEWS

Candidate apologizes for attending ‘Black Press Only’ event

March 29, 2019
This Wednesday, March 28, 2019 photo shows signs on the doors of the Bolton Street Baptist Church before a meeting to discuss an upcoming mayoral race in Savannah, Ga. Organizers of the meeting to discuss an upcoming mayoral race in Georgia barred reporters from attending, unless they were African-American. News outlets report the Wednesday meeting at the church in Savannah was held to try to unite the city’s black community behind a single candidate for mayor. (Eric Curl/Savannah Morning News via AP)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A mayoral candidate in Georgia is apologizing for attending an event that barred reporters unless they were African-American.

Savannah city councilman Van Johnson told reporters Friday: “I know in this case I did offend. And today I apologize for my actions.”

Johnson is among three black candidates who have announced campaigns this fall to challenge Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, who is white.

A meeting at a church Wednesday sought to unite Savannah’s black community behind a single candidate. Signs at the door said “Black Press Only!” and white reporters were denied entry.

Johnson spoke during the event and later told reporters prohibited from attending: “It’s not my meeting.”

Johnson said Friday if the meeting “excluded other folks ... I would be one of the first ones to be outraged.”

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Information from: Savannah Morning News, http://www.savannahnow.com