That letter penned state Sen. Vincent Fort, urging his state Capitol colleagues to oust Claud “Tex” McIver from the state Board of Elections came from his personal account and not the Senate press office. The chamber’s publicity arm refused to have anything to do with it. And the Atlanta Democrat is crying foul.
McIver, a well-known Republican, accidentally shot and killed his wife as the two were in a car driving through downtown Atlanta. Fort’s letter urges GOP leaders to remove McIver from the board because a family spokesman said he pulled out a handgun in fear of a Black Lives Matter rally in the area. Fort wrote that “falsely blaming a fear of African American activists” was reason enough to block him from overseeing electoral issues in Georgia.
Senate spokeswoman Ines Owens said the press office, which is nonpartisan, doesn’t publish “clearly partisan material.” Owens said staffers offered to help write a press release that didn’t violate policy, and Fort declined. The chamber’s leaders also responded with their own letter, offering to schedule a meeting to discuss his concerns.
Fort, a likely candidate for Atlanta mayor, said he was “offended and hurt” by the chamber’s position.
“This is Senate business. This isn’t political. This is policy. Tex McIver, after making racially sensitive remarks, should not be sitting on one of the state’s most important boards,” said Fort. “Should he be in a position to determine elections policy? I don’t think so. It is really craven for senate leadership to use that kind of vacuous argument.”