In Columbus, white candidate urges voters to keep council’s racial makeup

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2017

COLUMBUS (AP) — A white city council member running against a black challenger says he stands by a campaign letter he sent to voters, urging them to “maintain the current racial makeup of the council.”

Republican Charlie Box confirmed to The Commercial Dispatch that he mailed the letter last week to as many as 700 of his supporters. Box is one of two white members of the Columbus City Council.

Box wrote that the June 6 election presents a “rare opportunity” to maintain the council’s 4-2 racial makeup. He added that “we may even be able to move it to 3-3 for the first time in recent history.”

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Box told the newspaper he doesn’t believe the letter is racist, and said he doesn’t understand how anyone could find it offensive.