It's bad when you need to preface an article with the words "I'm not making this up," but we've crossed into that territory in the Nameless Primary.
Jamie Duies and Reginald V. "Reggie" Anderson are two of the six men running in the primary for Adam Brown's vacant seat on the Decatur City Council. Duies was a Decatur Police Officer from 1995 to 1997, and the Department has confirmed that in the course of his duty, he arrested Anderson.
I've spoken at great length with Anderson, a long-time Decatur resident who is also a felon and therefore legally ineligible to hold office. He has said he is aware of this and is running anyway.
Anderson's earnestness is undeniable, his story long. He has, by his count, more than 150 interactions with the Macon County Circuit Court. He's been arrested numerous times for everything from DUI to property damage to robbery to domestic battery. Most of those charges have been dismissed or acquitted, but several were misdemeanor convictions and there is the felony robbery charge that seems to render his entire campaign moot. In addition, he's scheduled for a jury trial on a charge of felony DUI the day before the general election in April.
He has told me he has knocked on doors in the community, passed out petitions. He has told me people have told him he has their vote. I haven't met or spoken with anybody who has said this to him, but if I had the opportunity, I would ask if they know all of the circumstances.
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Anderson continues to provide me with more documentation he feels backs up his assertions he has been singled out by the cops and the courts. I haven't gone into his excessive number of prior arrests because it involves me delving into the details of each one. Anderson feels the circumstances surrounding many of these are dubious: The court has many times agreed with him, it seems, and other times hasn't.
What I have tried to tell Anderson is that's the court's business. It isn't a reporter's, and it won't reverse the felony conviction that makes his candidacy invalid.
There is a very high likelihood Anderson will continue on to the general election, as only two candidates will lose the primary, and Anderson seems to be campaigning while two other candidates who have been absent are not campaigning at all. We are essentially running a $100,000 race unnecessarily.
We all want to believe Democracy works. This is proof that sometimes it works in mysterious ways.