There is a runoff near here in the Dublin Judicial Circuit for District Attorney. The candidate with the most votes going into the runoff was not attacked by the incumbent, who is number two in the runoff.
Maybe this should have gotten out. As printed in the AJC’s Political Insider:
Shortly after election day, we began getting calls from Dublin about the local district attorney’s race. Challenger Craig Fraser led the field, including incumbent Ralph Walke, with 42 percent of the vote. It’s now Fraser and Walke in a runoff.
The vote has set antennae tingling over at the Atlanta office of the Anti-Defamation League, and in Alabama at the Southern Poverty Law Center. And at the state Democratic Party.
As a young man, you see, Fraser was a follower of J.B. Stoner, one of the most notorious racists in Georgia during the post-World War II era, ultimately convicted in the 1958 bombing of an unoccupied black church in Birmingham.
This was in 1973 or so. The Southern Poverty Law Center started a file on Fraser. In 1976, he wrote the flattering foreword to a book of compiled Hitler documents:
“And what a mind Hitler had! Surely even his enemies, the anti-Christ Jews, will admit to the superiority of his mental powers. . . . A man who inaugurated the final struggle of the White man, the Aryan, for mastery of the earth — one of those rare and remarkable personalities who appear but once in thousands of years to despairing mankind a new symbol of hope and renewal.”
We checked our own back issues, and found the mention of a 23-year-old Craig “Frazier,” an Atlanta Law School student, in Stoner’s company.
Fraser, now 52, was defeated in an attempt to become a Superior Court judge four years ago, when much of this material surfaced. So the local Dublin paper has been treating Fraser’s past as a nonissue.
But the paper did give him a chance to readdress the matter before Tuesday’s vote. He said this:
“The issue . . . has only resurfaced because desperate politicians will resort to desperate actions in order to win elections. . . .
“It is no secret to this community that when I was a young man, 34 years ago, I said and wrote some things that were not politically correct.
“Thanks to the guidance of my family, members of my church, and members of my community, both black and white, I came to realize that any type of racism has no place in my life and my community. . . . My opponents had to dig back 34 years to when I was a teenager in an attempt to smear me.”
Well, not exactly 34 years. And not exactly a teenager.