The head of the Georgia NAACP is clarifying a statement he made praising state Rep. Chuck Efstration that ended up on a campaign flyer for Efstration’s re-election campaign.
It’s praise for the legislator — but not an endorsement of his re-election bid — Georgia NAACP President Rev. James Woodall said in a series of Facebook posts on Thursday.
“That is a statement that I made about Chuck and gave to him,” said Woodall, who clarified that he did not authorize the mailer. “I stand by them. But the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and we do not endorse candidates. I also believe that the people of the district should, and will, decide who they want to represent them.”
The flyer that was recently sent out by the Dacula Republican’s campaign touts his work on Georgia’s new Hate Crimes Bill. At the bottom of the flyer is a statement from Georgia NAACP President Rev. James Woodall.
“Chuck Efstration is a good leader who I believe is making a difference in the lives of Georgians,” Woodall said in the statement listed on the flyer. “He sponsored Georgia’s Hate Crime Law and is working to push for more reforms. Chuck opposed mandatory minimum sentences and will continue to fight mass incarceration.”
Woodall stressed in one Facebook post that he has not endorsed a candidate in the House District 104 race. That post came in response to rumors that he had endorsed Efstration, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Republican Karen Handel, who is running to reclaim her old 6th Congressional District seat.
“I will not be making any endorsements,” Woodall said in that post. Those rumors are false and if anyone wants to inquire about where I personally stand in political contests, my line is always open.”
A photo attached to that post stated “My black vote is not for sale.”
Efstration’s opponent, Nakita Hemingway, criticized him on Friday for using the statement from Woodall.
“I spoke with Efstration last week and came away with the impression that both our campaigns would be run with integrity,” Hemingway said. “Maybe he doesn’t understand how tired Black people are of having their voices stolen.”
Efstration pointed out the flyer does not specifically say Woodall endorsed him, and pointed to the NAACP leader’s Facebook post as confirmation that the statement attributed to him was accurate.
“Rev. Woodall provided a quote for me to use in my campaign,” Efstration said. “It didn’t include the word endorsement and he has correctly said it isn’t an endorsement. Rev. Woodall continues to stand by the statement he made about me and acknowledges that it’s accurate.”