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Griffin calls for unity, more civility

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Says that he’s “disturbed” by recent rhetoric

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Floyd Griffin, who’s waged his fair share of civil rights battles over the decades, recently sent a press release to The Baldwin Bulletin, saying that he’s “calling on all members of the Baldwin County family to join him in working for the betterment of the entire county.”

Griffin was responding to an article in last week’s Baldwin Bulletin, in which county commission candidate Kendrick Butts referred to Solicitor General Skye Gess as “garbage” and encouraged voters to “send her back to wherever she came from.” Gess also responded to last week’s article. She e-mailed a statement to The Baldwin Bulletin, which can be read on page 2. Butts is African-American, and Gess is white.

The Baldwin Bulletin will attempt to reach out to Butts for an interview or official statement in time for next week’s paper.

Read the press release from Griffin: “Floyd Griffin, a former mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia, and a former State Senator from Baldwin County, is disturbed by a recent Facebook post allegedly posted by Kendrick Butts, which found its way into a current edition of The Baldwin Bulletin. Butts is running unopposed for an open seat on the Baldwin County Commission. ‘I didn’t see the Facebook post, but if what I read in The Baldwin Bulletin is true, I am troubled by the tone of the rhetoric that I read,’ Griffin said.

Added the press release: “‘There are two major things about Mr. Butts’ alleged Facebook comments on the status of local politics that trouble me. First, the tone is not representative of the approach the Black community has utilized in the past. We have always advocated for the interest of our community. I’ve lived in this community all of my life, except for going away to college and military service, and this name-calling tone is not the way we have worked with other leaders in the county,’ Griffin said. ‘It is important to maintain a civil tone in our political discourse. Civility is the way we have always done it, and we have been successful in improving our community by taking the high road.’”

The press release added that the rhetoric “potentially harm the good relations that we have built up in this community over the last 50 years.”

Griffin, however, then vouched from Butts’ character.

“I have known Mr. Butts for several years, and he is a fine young man with a lot of promise. I know his family. I know how hard they have worked to be responsible citizens of Baldwin County, and I want to see Mr. Butts succeed should he win the District 2 Commission seat in the General Election in November,” Griffin said.

Griffin then said that he “plans to establish a mentee-mentor relationship with Butts and share his years of experience in local business and politics.”

“I believe in this community. I have talked with other members on the county commission to get their input and to encourage them to communicate with Mr. Butts before the new commission takes office. The commission must work together for the betterment of the citizens,” Griffin added.