Fayetteville City Councilman Ed Johnson’s win over incumbent Mayor Greg Clifton on Tuesday is proof, says Clifton, that a black person can win in a majority white district, and he therefore called for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to drop its racial discrimination lawsuit to do with district voting against Fayette County and the Fayette County Board of Education.
“Your second election now as a black person in a majority white district is quite impressive,” Clifton told Johnson at the end of Thursday night’s Fayetteville City Council meeting. Clifton noted that Johnson won his city council seat four years ago with 61 percent of the vote and the mayoral seat this week with 53 percent of the vote.
“It certainly blows the NAACP’s racial discrimination lawsuit out of the water, and I forthwith call for them to drop their their unkind and frivolous racial discrimination lawsuit,” Clifton said. “A good person running a good campaign can get elected in this county regardless of their color.”
Johnson, a college instructor who also pastors Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal Church on the west side of Fayetteville, was until recent weeks listed on Fayette County NAACP’s website as the branch’s first vice president. Johnson, whose church hosts the branch’s monthly meetings, is still listed as the branch’s Freedom Fund committee chairman.
Johnson says he is no longer in leadership with NAACP.
“Though I don’t understand how it happened, it did, and I am at peace with that,” Clifton continued. “I pray the best blessings on your term as mayor, and I pray that the city will prosper as much or more so in your administration as it has in mine.
“We certainly have accomplished wonderful things these past four years that any mayor and council would be proud of,” Clifton said.
Johnson’s only response to Clifton’s remarks was to say “Thank you.”