MLK march intersects campaign trail




Sheriff Candidate Lewis Blanchard (far left) and Sheriff Alfonzo Williams (far right) marched in the same row during the annual MLK March in Keysville Monday. Afterward, they both delivered campaign-like messages.

Sheriff Candidate Lewis Blanchard (far left) and Sheriff Alfonzo Williams (far right) marched in the same row during the annual MLK March in Keysville on Monday. Afterward, they both delivered campaign-like messages.

An event honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took on the appearance of a campaign stop.

Approximately 50 people gathered Monday in Keysville to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The commemorative march began at City Hall. Participants included Keysville Councilmembers Freddie Harden and Sharon Neely. Also in attendance were Mayor Linda Wilkes and Concerned Citizen of Keysville President James Neely. After walking around the block, participants gathered again at City Hall for remarks made by Burke County Public School Superintendent

Angela Williams.

“For too many, this day has become a day off,” she pointed out, and she reminded people to focus on and reflect on King’s principles of equity, love, and fairness. She also advocated for teaching children unbiased history.

Next, Sheriff Candidate Lewis Blanchard and Sheriff Alfonzo Williams delivered speeches that reminded attendees there would soon be an election.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was all about service, and that is why we are here today,” Lewis stated. He also pointed out that while serving as Chief Deputy of Burke County, he worked diligently to maintain a fully staffed Sheriff’s Office and stayed within budget. He alluded to the need for fewer administrative positions.

“Consistency, sincerity, and integrity—I believe that is what it is all about, and I believe that is what today is about as well,” he stated.

Sheriff Williams began his discourse by pointing to King’s values of equality and unity.

“We have seen some ugliness in the last year½ to two years from some of the folks who espouse to depreciate what Martin Luther King did and what he stood for,” he said. “I tell you that you won’t see that from our side of the camp. You are safer and much better off than you were seven years ago.”

The event was moderated by Marvin Scott.

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