Beer for a vote? Man indicted after allegedly buying support for mayor-elect

John Daniel Martin

Credit: The Augusta Chronicle

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John Daniel Martin

Credit: The Augusta Chronicle

Credit: The Augusta Chronicle

A supporter of the mayor-elect in an east Georgia town has been charged with giving an underage man alcohol and tobacco in exchange for his vote.

According to an indictment by the Richmond County grand jury, John Daniel Martin, 35, gave a man named Jacob Odum the inducements to vote for Phillip Stewart, who won the election in Blythe by four votes.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office is investigating the allegations, spokesman Shawn Balcomb said. However, it is not clear who is being targeted.

The indictment also charges Martin, a candidate for City Council, with giving alcohol to someone under 21, the legal drinking age in Georgia.

Stewart defeated former council member Cyndi Parham and is scheduled to be sworn into office at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Richmond County elections board certified the vote count Saturday, although Parham had requested a recount.

"I was completely shocked," Parham told an Augusta television station. "I found out within five minutes that the polls closed that there was an investigation and I just couldn't believe it."

Parham resigned her council position to run for mayor. Martin intends to run for the seat in a May 22 special election.

Blythe is about 145 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

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