SAVANNAH, GA – Tuesday afternoon alderman at large post 2 candidate Alicia Blakely demanded her opponent Savannah businessman Brian Foster dissolve his campaign for reasons of his affiliation to a club she claims is racially biased.
Blakely says Foster’s membership in the Oglethorpe Club makes him unfit to lead. She says the club is discriminatory, claiming that no women or African Americans have ever been allowed.
In an exclusive interview with News 3, Foster fired back.
“You know I haven’t done anything negative in this community all I have done is create jobs and build this community and help everybody in the community so I think they’re just trying to find something,” says Foster.
That something being the policies of the exclusive dinner club, Blakely says reflects Foster as a candidate.
“The community needs to know the person that’s running for the same office that I am running for, they need to know that he does not have their best interest at hand,” she says.
The Oglethorpe Club defines itself as a private social dining club dating back to 1870. Blakely accuses it of practicing policies that reflect that of 145 years ago.
“This is a club that does not allow African Americans, Hispanic, Latino, Asian or women.”
Foster claims himself to not be a frequent member, but he says in all the times he has attended dinners there he never felt the sense of exclusion to people of other ethnic backgrounds.
“I know they do not have a discriminatory policy so I do not see this as an issue.”
His membership into the club surfaced during one of the earlier candidate forums at the Civil Rights Museum. Since then, it has been the main weapon used by the Blakely campaign.
“If you’re a member of a club like this you can’t possibly want to represent all the people.”
Foster, in the end, says he has answered the questions regarding his membership and challenges Blakely to discuss the real issues affecting the community.
“She has not laid out any plan for addressing the public safety issues and creating jobs and I would ask how many jobs have you created. ”
Foster says he has no intention of dropping out of the race for Alderman At Large Post 2 and says he carries a record of opposing discrimination and would consider leaving the club if he found it to have discriminatory policies.
News 3 attempted to reach other sources in regards to the club, they tell us there is no evidence the club holds a racially biased policy for entrance within it. Foster says he only took part in it because of his wife, and that most people become members through knowing individuals on the board of directors.