The Anne Arundel branch of the NAACP is bracing for a bitter rematch next month to determine who will lead the group: the woman who held the job for 18 years or the man who ousted her.
Already, the charges are flying.
Gerald Stansbury, elected president last year, said he was disappointed that Jean Creek will try to reclaim the job.
"Her announcement is a distraction to me, but the train is moving forward, and I'm going full steam ahead," said Stansbury, who criticized Creek's lack of involvement in the organization since she lost the top job.
The last election took eight months to decide, endured a legal challenge and required the intervention of the national headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Stansbury finally was declared the winner by two votes.
"I had to rebuild this organization from scratch, and we've finally built unity in this branch," said Stansbury, who said he was surprised by Creek's announcement this month. "When I first FTC started, we had about 300 active members; now we've got more than 600. We're proud of what we've done, and our record will speak for itself."
Stansbury said the organization has recently accomplished: -Z Opening the branch's first office in 50 years, located in the Ganderco Office Building, 2563 Forest Drive in Annapolis.
Recruiting 425 youth members and being recognized by the national organization for having the state's largest youth chapter.
Publishing the county's first Minority Business Directory, which lists major minority-owned businesses.
But Creek said yesterday that Stansbury's claims are bogus.
"There are many in the community who believe the NAACP has been poorly run," said Creek, principal at Brehms Lane Elementary School in Baltimore. "If people are so satisfied with Mr. Stansbury's tenure, I wouldn't have hundreds of people encouraging me to run this year."
Creek said 500 people have joined the local organization to vote for her in the Nov. 21 election.
"We are questioning some of the projects Mr. Stansbury has involved our branch in, and we are questioning how he is using our funds to finance student memberships. We are questioning why our NAACP president doesn't have a job."
In the last election, Creek alleged that Stansbury was a puppet controlled by black politicians and powerful community activists. Stansbury countered that Creek took a dangerously low profile on social and political issues critical to the black community.
The November 1994 election -- which was marred by delays in vote counting and contested ballots -- lasted until July 1995, when Stansbury's 245-243 victory ended Creek's reign. Creek tried to sue the NAACP in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, but Judge Eugene Lerner ruled that the victory could not be overturned.
L The national organization also ruled the results were final.
Some branch members said they are outraged and disappointed that Creek would try to run again.
On Oct. 17, a group tried to prevent Creek from putting her name on the ballot, but the national organization has ruled that Creek may run.
"How absolutely disappointed I am," said Wayne Jearld, chairman of the minority business enterprise committee for the county NAACP. "This organization has traveled a hard road to get where we are today. It took a lot of time to rebuild and, unfortunately, I expect this coming election to be a real dogfight."
Harrison Johnson, second vice president of the county NAACP, said Creek has every right to run, but he believes the past problems within the organization are gone.
"This is a time when there are a lot of problems in this county that our group is dealing with," said Johnson, citing what he called job discrimination and a high rate of black student expulsions in the county. "[Creek] was a good leader in her time, but we've got bigger concerns to deal with now."
Pub Date: 10/31/96