Congratulations to Councilman Daryl Dowdell on His Re-election

November 2019

Staff Reports


Dr. John Marshall, the publisher of the Americus Sumter Observer, has decided to extend an olive branch to Councilman Dowdell. In a statement by Marshall, he gave his reasons for this action:

“Mr. Dowdell is young with limited experience in Sumter County’s politics. As a veteran civil rights activist, I know that our enemies are ecstatic to see us squabble. I don’t want the Black and White enemies in our community to get enjoyment seeing this young fellow spar with me. So, I have decided to stop all battles with Dowdell.

As an older man who has worked for years helping our community, it is incumbent upon me to be the adult and stop making our enemies happy. Our disagreement began when I begged City Councilpersons Dowdell, Pless, and Wilson to remove the City Attorney Jimmy Skipper because of his potential damage to them. Skipper has a track record of deceiving Black elected officials when he was the Sumter County school board attorney. The three councilpersons were offended that I “peeped their cards” by publicly asking them to remove Skipper. I guess if I didn’t say anything, they would have terminated him. I know that many White racists and uncle toms in Americus just love Blacks in power that refuse to use their power. It should be very easy for all of them to get re-elected because they are no threat to the enemies of Black people.

As a senior citizen who has worked in this community for over 30 years as a physician; a former president of the Sumter County NAACP, and as this newspaper’s publisher, I can’t continue to debate with a man who works on a job where White people pay his salary. I can’t expect him to be independent and challenge many Whites because he derives his living from them to take care of his family. So, I have decided to leave it to the citizens who elected him, to see if he will move Americus forward. He has been a councilman for four years as of December 31, 2019 and there is not one significant thing that Wilson, Dowdell and Pless have done .

Dowdell posted on Facebook that he communicates with Rev. Mathis Wright but not with me. However, Wright said that he and his fellow councilpersons do not call him and have failed to settle the lawsuit that Rev. Wright and Craig Walker filed against the city council over 3 years ago. They could have pushed to settle because they are in the majority on city council.

We want the citizens to monitor Dowdell while he serves and prove me wrong. My hope is that he and the other Black councilpersons will do something that will advance our people. They are not there to grin and skin with their White fellow councilpersons and the mayor. Time will tell if we can get any help from these elected officials.

In closing, I want the enemies that I have been fighting for over 30 years to not see Councilman Dowdell and me fight. I am extending a hand of friendship and cooperation as I give this young man a chance to prove what he can do for Americus. Councilpersons Kelvin Pless and Juanita Wilson have decided to cut all communications with me. But I am reaching out to them also to bury the hatchet as well. I don’t expect them to resume communication with me. I accept that. I want to let the citizens see what they will do going forward.

It will be left up to the people of Americus to judge them for their work. I just want to stop the negative statements on Facebook and in the community by me and by Dowdell.

I am trying to be the bigger man because I am old enough to be Dowdell’s father.

Dr. Marshall and the editorial board of the Americus Sumter Observer hope this will help unite the Black community and advance our people in Sumter County.