‘Bennett has not earned my vote’

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To the editor:

Yesterday, as I was sorting through my daily collection from the mailbox, I found a surprise amongst the collection of bills and other junk mailings — a postcard informing me of Leroy Bennett’s desire to become Suffolk’s next mayor.

My surprise was not from the fact that the card was not addressed to “Resident,” “Fellow Suffolkian” or even “To Whom it May Concern,” nor from the fact that it had no postage. Nor was I surprised that Mr. Bennett’s campaign volunteers seemed to forget the laws governing who can place what items in a mailbox.

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What did surprise me was the very fact that Mr. Bennett would want to be mayor of the very city and ultimately the elected leader of the very elected body that he recently accused of being racially and politically biased against him and purposely drawing him out of the Nansemond Borough voting district.

Mind you, the change in borough boundaries was because of population growth within his borough and affected two other elected officials. It has since been found satisfactory by the Justice Department.

I do not have any comments about the alleged political bias or payback that may or may not have occurred, but I do have some thoughts about Mr. Bennett’s other actions, accusations, and now desires for my vote.

His unfounded accusations about racism were repugnant, repulsive, revolting and truly hideous. His arrogance, pride and selfishness caused him to throw the race card in a wild attempt to keep that which he thought he was due as a result of having served for 16 years.

His actions made Suffolk a laughingstock of the local and national news. They might have cost Suffolk precious tax revenues, as people who saw the mockery and made decisions against Suffolk for future home or business locations. His baseless accusations cost Suffolk the money spent defending itself in public meetings and before the Justice Department.

Let me also mention of the fuel that he intentionally added to the fires of racism, which never seem to be extinguished, due to the selfish desires of groups and individuals such as Mr. Bennett.

These actions opened a window into Mr. Bennett’s heart that has allowed me — and, I pray, the residents of Suffolk — to see what actually resides therein. Bluntly, I do not see the dedication, commitment, honesty or integrity that he proclaims on his junk mailer as being the “hallmark” of his public service to the city of Suffolk.

Mr. Bennett has not earned my vote, and I would be more willing to continue the current ineptness that fills the office than to vote for him. I fear he will only continue to represent himself and forget about those he is supposed to represent and lead — the citizens of Suffolk.

Don Roberts