There was considerable irony in state Sen. Julian Bond's decision last week not to run in the postponed Democratic primary against Rep. Wyche Fowler Jr. in Goergia's redrawn 5th Congressional District in Atlanta. Bond allied with Republicans in the state legislature to break an impasse over redistricting the 5th, which, thanks partly to him, is now 65 percent black after many blacks were shifted from the neighboring 4th district. As a result, Democratic Rep. Elliott H. Levitas faces a stiff challenge there in November,
Bond, however, said he had not been able to raise enough money to try exploiting his handiwork in what promised to be a shootout between two liberals, one black, one white. Because of the delay over redistricting, the primaries for the 4th and 5th districts are scheduled Nov. 2 and the general election Nov. 30.
"I was just awfully short of money," Bond said, eastimating that he would need $250,000 for the race. "Not even a fair chance at Victory made a rused campaign against a heavily bankrolled incumbent an attractive prospect for me and my family."
Bond had promised not to challenge Fowler, an old friend popular among largely black constituents once represented in Congress by Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. But after the Justice Department approved the majority black district in August, the temptation proved too great.
Fowler now runs unopposed in the Democratic primary, though he will face weak independent and Republican opposition in the general election.