The arrival of 2010 means a statewide election for our state.
While I realize many are still in a political snooze, the statewide elections are very important given the ongoing economic crisis we are facing.
With a few exceptions, many hard-working Georgians are hurting right now through no fault of their own. While some fringe yackers try to blame honest men and women for the current economic crisis we are facing, those here in the land of reality know that is not the case.
While a governor’s race is always important, the one in Georgia this year has perhaps an even higher level of urgency on it based primarily on the complete failure of the man who has held the office for the past eight years. Without a doubt, Sonny Perdue is the least effective governor our state has seen. Only the fact he had the Republican label by his name was he re-elected, the result of lazy voting by a majority of people who obviously couldn’t see the hand in front of their face in 2004 when he was up for re-election.
Several candidates are currently crisscrossing the state hoping to be the next governor as thankfully Perdue is term limited and cannot seek the office again. As I have mentioned before, any of the candidates on the trail now would be an improvement over the bumbling and stumbling Perdue who clearly has been out of his league in the governor’s mansion. His non-action on numerous issues have left many Georgians hurting and citizens of our state should be glad when his final day in office arrives.
I was asked recently what I thought of the campaign of former governor Roy Barnes, who opened the door for Perdue in the first place. Once upon a time in 1990, when Barnes first ran for governor, I supported him. While Barnes did not win that time, I liked his stance on many issues.
By the time he ran again in 1996, he had done an about face on many issues, I suppose in a true politician’s effort to get elected. While it worked, I lost some respect for him and I really can’t see me supporting him this time. That’s not to say he might not win considering the disaster that has been Perdue’s two terms in office, but it would be once again without my support.
John Oxendine has been a solid insurance commissioner in my opinion but that doesn’t automatically mean he would be an effective governor. Frankly, I wish Oxendine had continued in his role as an advocate for Georgians in his current role rather than seeking higher political ground.
I’ve always encouraged fellow voters to consider the grassroots candidates and we have those in all parties this year in Republican Ray McBerry, Democrat Carl Camon and Libertarian John Monds. To me, you shouldn’t have to be a millionaire several times over to hold statewide office. What does someone with that many zeros in his or her bank account really know about me anyway? I say very little.
With only a few more months until the primary, I hope voters will take some time to study all candidates. Don’t rule some out just because they belong to a certain party. Don’t vote for a candidate just because he or she is ahead in the latest poll. Keep in mind how Georgia is at a crossroads right now. This may very well be the most important election we’ve ever had. Your vote is too important to cast lightly.
Chris Bridges is an editor with Mainstreet Newspapers. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.