Patterson won’t run for NAACP president

Patterson  won’t run  for NAACP president
May 14
00:00 2015

The Winston-Salem Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP) will have to shorten its ballot for the May 26 vote.

Current president and local attorney S. Wayne Patterson announced Thursday, May 7, that he will withdraw his name from the election, citing that he needs to focus on the opening of his third law practice in Lavonia, Georgia. He has two other practices, one in Winston-Salem and the other in Atlanta.

“I have three law firms now and I just can’t do it. I will no longer have the time to give to the NAACP as president,” he said. “I’m going to give the individuals who wanted to be president the opportunity and move forward.”

Patterson said that he will continue to remain an active member in the organization, on the local, state and national levels.

“Wherever I can assist the NAACP and the state and local conference, I will,” the attorney said. “They will still see me involved, and I may continue as legal redress chair.”

Patterson’s challenger for the presidency seat, Isaac “Ike” Howard, did not know of the decision when The Chronicle called him on Friday afternoon.

“I’m surprised. That’s the only comment I have,” Howard said.

The chapter has seen a tumultuous last few months and have been trying to hold elections for its executive board since November 2014. Patterson originally called in the state chapter to oversee the election because of what he called violations of the organization’s bylaws.

Patterson previously told The Chronicle that names of candidates were submitted after the nomination process was closed. Protocol calls for each person running for an office to have been a dues-paying member before April 15 of the election year. Patterson said that some people paid their membership dues in August, making them ineligible to seek office. Those running for office had to submit their names, verbally and in writing, to the nomination committee before the Oct. 28, 2014, meeting or an individual could have also been nominated from the floor before the nomination process being closed at the meeting.

A complaint was sent to the national office after the January state-monitored elections failed to be completed on printed ballots. The national office overturned those results and has set up new elections.

Patterson is hoping that from here on out, members can get on the same page to do the things that need to be done.

“I was vindicated by the national office (in challenging the previous election) but because of in-house fighting among members, we can’t get anything done. We should all be a part of the same team,” he said of the last few months. “We can’t get anything accomplished. We’ve yet to set up the Freedom Fund banquet for the children, which should have been done in April. School is almost out. It’s a lot of things we have yet to accomplish.”

As for his time served, Patterson said he feels like he led effectively.

“I served my four years, and I think I did a good job at that,” he said.

Elections will be held on May 26  from 4 to 7 p.m. at the NAACP Enrichment Center, 4130 Oak Ridge Drive. The elections will be done by the state and only be open to members who would’ve been able to vote on the date of the originally scheduled election on Nov. 19, 2014.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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