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Dexter named new Editor and Publisher at Democrat-Reporter

The Democrat-Reporter in Linden has announced that Elecia R. Dexter has been named the newspaper’s Editor and Publisher, effective Thursday, Feb. 21.

The newspaper’s former Editor and Publisher, Goodloe Sutton, came under fire after the publication of an editorial titled “Klan needs to ride again” in the Feb. 14 edition. Sutton confirmed to multiple media sources that he did write the editorial. Attempts to reach the newspaper by phone Friday went unanswered.

Elecia Dexter has been named the Editor and Publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden.

The Associated Press reported that Sutton would retain ownership of the newspaper. In an interview with al.com’s Leada Gore, Sutton said he is in the process of selling the newspaper and is working on several books.

According to a press release, Dexter has strong roots in Marengo County, being the daughter of county native John Dexter Jr. She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication. She also holds a Master’s in Human Services from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and a Master’s in Counseling from Argosy University. Over the past 10 years, she has been a strategic leader with expertise in human resources, operations and change management.

“The Democrat-Reporter has provided the community of West Alabama with quality news for over 140 years and you may have full confidence that Ms. Dexter will continue in this tradition as well as moving the paper into a new direction. Ms. Dexter is coming in at a pivotal time for the newspaper and you may have full confidence in her ability to handle these challenging times.” the press release stated.

Sutton’s editorial drew criticism at the local, state and national levels, including Auburn University and the University of Southern Mississippi, revoking previous honors. The Alabama Press Association Board of Directors voted to censure Sutton and suspended the newspaper’s membership.

The follow-up edition of the Democrat-Reporter, published Feb. 21, featured a front-page headline “Response: Love editorials,” which included five letters: “We all face socialism,” “God bless Sutton,” “Great article, it’s true,” “Awesome! So true,” and “Never apologize.” No letters were published critical of the editorial.