First, some post-game statistical analysis: It is a fact that 33 percent of the total District 4 turnout voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes. Assuming 5 percent or less of Barnes voters decided to write in the tea party Republican (which is not a stretch), that means approximately 45 percent of Nathan Deal supporters in District 4 actually did write me in. Could I have picked up another 6 percent, or 130 votes, if my name had appeared on the ballot? Who knows, and it really doesn’t matter at this point. But I’m humbled and honored by this fact.
Second, running for local office is expensive! I was honestly surprised (and slightly disappointed) in the number of people that were perfectly willing to put a sign in their yard but who could not come up with a $25 donation. And it’s not just me. John Wilson spent close to $4,000 of his own money to retain the seat (which pays a whopping $6,000/yr). I would encourage everyone to support their candidates financially. They would appreciate it and maybe more good people would consider running if they knew it wouldn’t cost them so much.
Finally, I understand that unfortunately politics sometimes brings out the worst in human nature. By far my biggest disappointments over the last two months were the daily personal attacks and character assassinations posted anonymously on the Times-Georgian’s “Rants and Raves” website. I’m pretty thick skinned, so I could care less. But why do we allow our friends and neighbors to stoop to such low levels in a twisted attempt to support their candidate? It is disgusting behavior, embarrassing to the community and most importantly, it keeps good people from running for office. If the Times Georgian would consider removing the ability for anyone to post anonymous/unmonitored comments online, it would go a long way in encouraging more civil discourse and discussions.
In closing, I would like to personally congratulate John Wilson for your victory. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to step up and serve our community again as District 4 commissioner.