Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Elections could be historic

By CAL BEVERLY
editor@thecitizennews.com

Next Tuesday could be a historic day in Fayette County and Georgia. Thousands of our citizens will cast their ballots for three highly qualified Republicans for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and Fayette County Commission, all of whom happen to be black.

I will be one of those thousands saying yes to Herman Cain, Dylan Glenn and Dave Simmons. The GOP and this state need men of this quality and character in public office. I am proud to support them.

Hereís whom I plan to vote for next week.

County-level

Dave Simmons for commission Post 2.

Peter Pfeifer for commission Post 3.

Marion Key for board of education Post 3.

James K. Inagawa for state court solicitor-general.

Robert Ruppenthal for magistrate Post 3.

Judicial circuit

John Mrosek for superior court judge.

Tommy Hankinson for the other contested superior court judge slot.

Scott Ballard for district attorney.

State legislature

Ronnie Chance for state senate, 16th District.

Dan Lakly for state house, 72nd District.

Congress

Dylan Glenn for U.S. House, 8th District.

Herman Cain, U.S. Senate.

Ga. Supreme Court

Grant Brantley.

Ga. Court of Appeals

Mike Sheffield.

Some reasons:

Incumbent Post 2 Commissioner Herb Frady has served in years past on the Peachtree City Council and on the county commission. His best political years are behind him.

Itís time to say, Thanks, Herb, for your service; now, step aside to let someone with a fresh perspective and a range of imaginative ideas come on board.

Dave Simmons, who happens to be black, has lived in Whitewater Creek off Redwine Road for several years after retiring as an assistant chief of police in Detroit, Mich.

Simmons is a bright, articulate and seasoned consensus builder, a peacemaker, and the commission desperately needs some fresh approaches to increasingly thorny disputes with the sheriff and Peachtree City.

Rookie candidate Sam Chapman has a lot of enthusiasm but lacks much knowledge about what office heís running for. As a banker dependent on mortgage loans, his positions on rezonings and denser development are question marks.

I think the county cannot afford the combined risks of his inexperience and unknown commitment to the current county slow-growth approach.

Pfeifer suffers from his apparent reluctance to step out of Chairman Greg Dunnís shadow. However, his commitment to slow-growth and strict zoning controls outweighs his other faults in my eyes. The countyís green spaces are safe in Pfeiferís hands.

Bill McBroom has been a D.A. disaster for Fayette County. His good-olí-boy approach and lackadaisical management techniques may work in rural counties, but are woefully inadequate for the much larger Fayette.

McBroom also has no stomach for investigating local political figures, a weakness evidenced here when for years he wouldnít even return The Citizenís phone calls about questionable activities among some local officials.

Scott Ballard is an effective Fayette County attorney who will bring honor, a strong sense of public duty and some order into the chaotic D.A.ís mess.

Johnnie Caldwell is no favorite of mine, from the time he was D.A. until now, when he wants another term as superior court judge. Caldwell often is rude and overbearing, brusque and just plain wrong on the law often enough to cause lawyer tongues to wag about his storied reversals at the appellate level.

John Mrosek is a Fayette lawyer who ran a close race against Caldwell four years ago, winning in Fayette but losing in the other three counties of the circuit. The numbers look more favorable for Mrosek this time, and we hope he sends Caldwell back into the private practice of law, where the Upson County resident may learn some manners.

In the other contested judgeís race, incumbent Tommy Hankinson is a better choice than a prosecutor recently criticized by a judge for inappropriate contact with a defendant before trial. Steve Harris is not a quality candidate to be impartially deciding peopleís fates as a judge.

For state senate, Bill Bonner is a good and capable man who has served the people of Fayette before. I happen to think that Ronnie Chance is the face of the GOPís future, rather than its past, and will bring new ideas to the table in a Republican-controlled Senate.

On the other hand, thereís too much freshness and not much seasoning in the cadre of candidates running for state house District 72, except for old hand Dan Lakly.

Lakly served on the Peachtree City Council, the Fayette County Commission and six years in the Georgia House of Representatives. He was unseated by schoolteacher Kathy Cox, who has gone on to other things.

Lakly will be valuable to Fayette in the Democrat-controlled House, where he knows most of the power brokers by first name. It will be who knows whom in the House, a contrast to the Senate.

Three of the Congressional District 8 candidates I know personally and think highly of: Lynn Westmoreland, Mike Crotts and Dylan Glenn.

Westmoreland and Crotts would make GOOD representatives. Dylan Glenn will make a GREAT one.

Glenn, whose teacher mother lives in Peachtree City and whose older brother serves on the Peachtree City police force, will instantly become a force in the new Congress.

As the first black Republican representative from Georgia, Glenn will get plum committee assignments and show up on panel programs weekly on Fox News and CNN. He will bring high visibility to Fayette and the 8th District. He will be the new J.C. Watts, now that Watts has retired.

And Herman Cain is just what Georgia needs, especially the Democrat part.

See you at the polls.

 

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