Fort Valley candidate will remain on today’s ballot

FORT VALLEY — A challenge to remove Marvin Crafter from the ballot as a candidate for the Fort Valley Utilities Commission was denied Monday afternoon. Fort Valley elections superintendent Martha McAfee handed down the ruling after a brief hearing at City Hall.

Jo Ann Dankel, a candidate running against Crafter for an at-large seat on the utilities commission in today’s election, challenged Crafter’s residence in the Fort Valley area.

She claimed that the Spencer Street home Crafter claimed as his residence had been abandoned, and that Crafter was living outside the Fort Valley limits.

“He’s not living at that residence,” Dankel said flatly after McAfee’s ruling. Crafter insisted that his personal belongings are at his Spencer Street address, although he frequently travels outside the Fort Valley limits to care for his mother-in-law.

“I did some stuff to help her now and then,” he told McAfee.

According to the ruling, Crafter presented utility records to support his contention that he lived at Spencer Street. “There was no evidence that he did not reside at the Spencer Street address,” McAfee wrote in her ruling.

In the moments before the ruling, Crafter openly taunted Dankel as the two waited for McAfee’s decision.

“The polls must show you behind,” he told Dankel.

Later, Crafter told Dankel that her challenge would “drive the most aggressive day in black turnout in the history of this town.”

To contact writer Thomas L. Day, 744-4489.