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  Two Washingtons: Bitterly divided Georgia town reflects discord in nation’s capital
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Jun 23, 2021 08:52am
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AuthorEli Saslow
News DateSaturday, November 12, 2011 02:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThey traveled to the city square from housing projects, antebellum mansions and old plantations on the outskirts of town. By nightfall, more than 100 people had gathered at the courthouse to find out who would be their next mayor.

Democrats, most of whom were black, stood in one part of the square. Republicans, most of them white, stood in another part and also waited inside. Three state troopers patrolled between the two groups, on the lookout for another fight to avenge one that had occurred a few hours before.

“You people think you own Washington!” a Democrat yelled.

“You’re ruining Washington!” a Republican shouted back.

There are dozens of places across the country named in tribute to the first president of the United States, and the contention so often associated with Washington, D.C., is now spreading to them, too. At the beginning of a crucial election year, many of the other Washingtons have become reflections of the nation’s capital. Even here, in a bucolic town of 4,000 in rural Georgia, where the tourism committee promotes a “sense of grace” and “the best Southern hospitality,” a 2011 campaign for a mostly ceremonial mayor’s job had become a contest rife with racial tension and allegations of voter fraud.

Here was another Washington divided and angry, hoping its problems could be solved on election night.
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