But NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson admonished Rose’s actions.
“By issuing a public partisan statement opposing Mr. Reed’s candidacy and by essentially endorsing other candidates, you clearly violated Article II, Section 2 of the Bylaws for Units of the NAACP. You are engaging in conduct inimical to the best interest of the Association. Your conduct is not in accord with the NAACP’s principles, aims and purposes,” according a letter from Janette McCarthy Wallace, the NAACP’s general counsel.
The letter continued, stating the National NAACP demands that Rose retract his statements against Reed, and to cease-and-desist from endorsing political candidates or political parties. The national branch threatened to suspend or expel Rose if he failed to comply.
Rose declined to comment on the matter on Monday afternoon.
The Rev. James Woodall, former president of the Georgia chapter of the NAACP, said on Twitter that it’s “disappointing” to see the national NAACP telling “any leader to not use their voice to speak about local issues.” He called the local branch’s rebuke of Reed “quite telling.”
Woodall said “there was no problem in publicly rebuking Donald Trump though.” He also said it was “quite hypocritical” that the national NAACP didn’t condemn the New York NAACP’s endorsement of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul for next year’s gubernatorial election.
Reed said in a statement that he’s grateful for the NAACP’s response to Rose’s actions. Reed called Rose’s statements false and said his campaign is being attacked “because we sought and received the support of the women and men of the Atlanta Police Department at a time when crime and violence is devastating our city.”
“People are sick when they move to a point where they can say anything about me,” Reed said at a press conference Monday.
Several people and groups endorsed Reed’s candidacy, including former Atlanta mayor and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young. Reed pointed out that Rose contributed to the mayoral campaign for City Councilman Andre Dickens, and Reed said the collaboration among his opposition is similar to “a cabal or a gang.”
It’s unclear what the repudiation means for the race. Reed is in a statistical tie with City Council President Felicia Moore and 41% of voters are still undecided, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution polls.