During a campaign event at which supporters talked more than the candidate, former District 1 Columbus Councilor Nathan Suber announced today that he's making a comeback.
Defeated in a 2006 runoff by Jerry “Pops” Barnes, Suber said he was getting back in the political game because people asked him to.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘Would you consider running again?’” Suber said after a rally outside the Michael M. Fluellen rec center just south of Carver High School. About 60 people turned out there to cheer him on, among them former Atlanta Brave Henry “Hank” Aaron, the first baseball player to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record.
Aaron is married to the former Billye Suber, whose older brother Nathan Suber Jr. was the candidate’s father. Suber said he is Nathan Suber III, though he does not usually call himself the third.
Billye Aaron called Suber her “oldest and dearest nephew” and urged Columbus residents to support him. “I know you want to see your city move in the right direction,” she said.
Henry Aaron asked that people also chip in money for the campaign. “Money is what we all need for this to be a reality,” he said. “You’ve got to have money before you can do anything.”
The Aarons, who still live in Atlanta, said they rushed from a trip to New York to be at Suber’s rally.
Others supporting Suber at today's event included former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff, who lost to Jim Wetherington in 2006, former Columbus Fire Chief Roy Waters, Muscogee Marshal Greg Countryman, District 1 school board representative Pat Hugley-Green, attorney Allen Kamensky and activist C.A. Hardmon, who goes by “Brother Love.”
Poydasheff said that if voters would look back on all that was accomplished when he and Suber were in office, they would see that “we done good.” He praised Suber’s “honesty, integrity and decency,” and said Suber was a leader who would tell you “what is right” rather than “what you want to hear.”
Hugley-Green, Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hugley’s sister, said Suber helped her get elected to the school board, and were he re-elected, the city and school board could work more closely together. “I miss my friend,” she said. “I need that collaboration. I need him back.”
Countryman called Suber “my good friend and mentor” and said he still calls Suber for advice. “He will never be the kind of man who’ll tell what you want to hear,” the marshal said.
Said Hardmon: “Let’s put a good man back in office.”
Waters said Suber believes in transparency, accountability, responsibility and openness, which other politicians only talk about.
Suber said he turned to God to ask why he lost in 2006, and was told he needed to be humbled, and he has been.
A salesman for Aflac, Suber, 59, served 12 years on council, having taken office in 1994.