Cheek should think twice about running for mayor


Last week, former Augusta Commissioner Andy Cheek surprised folks by announcing that he plans to move back to Augusta and run for mayor.
Not only does he plan to sell his house in North Augusta, but he wants to live on Broad Street.
Really? Seriously?
Does he not remember what happened last time he decided to run for office?
In 2009, after moving to North Augusta, Cheek decided he was going to run for the Aiken County Council’s District 5 seat, which was being vacated by Eddie Butler.
During his 2009 campaign, Cheek boasted that Augusta’s neighbors across the Savannah River seemed to value progress over petty politics.
“I decided to run for Aiken County Council after hearing the same old thing from candidates with no experience that promised voters the moon and the stars,” Cheek said. “I figured, with all of my years of experience of being in the crucible over here in Augusta, I could accomplish even more on the Aiken County Council where people actually listen to each other and work toward a common good.”
Cheek proclaimed himself a South Carolinian whose family had been a part of Aiken County for more than 100 years. He told voters that he attended the University of South Carolina in Aiken and that his family cemetery was located in Bath, S.C.
“That is where I’ll be buried,” he insisted.
He also was quick to throw jabs at Augusta’s government.
“It’s funny. You can drive down Georgia Avenue in South Carolina and you can see a new municipal center that was conceived, designed and built in about a fifth of the time we spent on Augusta’s judicial center,” Cheek said in 2009. “As Augusta continues to look down its nose at its neighbors, calling them bedroom communities, if they could be half as progressive and productive, Augusta would be in good shape.”
Cheek insisted that Aiken County had a different philosophy of government than Richmond County.
“Leaders there will come into a meeting with an open mind,” Cheek said of Aiken County. “They may have an opinion about a certain thing, but they will actually sit down and listen to your opinion. And, in the process of the discussion, they may actually change their mind based on what they’ve heard. It’s called working together. For me, it will be such a breath of fresh air.”
Even with all of his praise of the Palmetto State, Cheek still did not fare well at the polls.
On election day, Cheek only received 7.7 percent of the total vote.
That sounds bad, but when you actually studied the low turnout of voters during that 2009 election, the news was even worse.
Cheek received a total of 47 votes in the entire District 5 race.
That’s less than a lot of folks receive in elections to a homeowners association.
And now Cheek wants to walk back over the 13th Street Bridge and tell Augusta voters that he wants to lead the Garden City?
That is going to be a hard sell. A very hard sell.

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