Floyd Griffin announces run for General Assembly


Joe Biden was born in 1942 and Donald Trump in 1946. Floyd Griffin, meanwhile, splits the difference and was born in 1944.

Like Biden and Trump, Griffin is hoping that his "age is nothing but a number" for voters. Griffin recently announced his candidacy for the Georgia House of Representatives in District 149. Qualifying week is March 4 through March 8, and multiple Democrat candidates likely will emerge, based on the fact that Baldwin County's new district is distinctly more "Democrat friendly."

On the Republican side, Ken Vance of Milledgeville also will be running in District 149 and seeking re-election to the Gold Dome. To put it diplomatically, Vance and Griffin didn't always agree on everything 100 percent of the time during Griffin's tenure as mayor. Vance was one of the City Council members who voted to change the city charter to a weak mayor form of government, effectively stripping Griffin of most of his duties around City Hall. That was back in the day when everybody still had cable, and the City Council meetings were still broadcast on the local public access channel. Those City Council meetings could be "entertaining," for better or worse, and the meetings became must-see TV for some around Milledgeville.

The new-look District 149 is a result of the civil rights gerrymandering lawsuit that finally was settled last month, all in an effort to create more majority-African American General Assembly districts in Macon...

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District 149 basically includes everything in Baldwin County west of the Oconee River, a snaky sliver of south Jones County, as well as a section of East Macon. That particular stretch of Macon includes roughly 10,000 registered voters. Overall, African Americans comprise roughly half of the current registered voters in the district, while roughly 42 percent are white.

This will be much more challenging for Vance's re-election campaign. Roughly 56 percent of the voters in Vance's old district were white during the 2022 general election. Vance was on the City Council for 30 years and also was the longtime director of public safety at Georgia College & State University.

In 1994, Griffin became the first African-American since Reconstruction elected to the state senate in Georgia from a majority white district. Eight years later, Griffin became Milledgeville's first African-American mayor.

Since then, however, Griffin hasn't fared so well in campaigns. He came up short in two subsequent mayoral elections, and he also came up short in a 2010 run for state senate and a 2016 bid for state representative. Griffin then finished fourth out of five democrats in the 2022 Secretary of State primary.

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