But once again, the hot topic this week is the race for Columbia County Commission Chair.
However, the spotlight that candidate and former EMA Director Pam Tucker received this week is not the attention she wanted just days before folks head to the polls.
This week, several critics of Tucker pounced on her after she, once again, didn’t think before she posted a comment on her campaign’s Facebook page.
On Tuesday, May 15, Tucker posted the following message to Facebook:
“I have had requests come in today on email, text, Facebook and through my campaign website from students who said that teachers have assigned them questions to ask political candidates. None of them are simple questions, so if you are the teacher or teachers who made these assignments, please understand that it will be after the election before I will be answering any of them due to time limitations. The last week before an election is probably not the best time to make such an assignment. I am curious if any of the other candidates have been bombarded with this today also.”
All right. Tucker made some major missteps here that any person with common sense should know.
First off, you don’t criticize teachers for giving their students an assignment related to your election.
They are trying to get their students interested in the voting process. If you respond by saying, “The last week before an election is probably not the best time to make such an assignment,” you’re not only insulting and aggravating teachers, but you’re disappointing students.
Think about it. That might be a student’s first encounter with any kind of political candidate… ever. And, let’s just say, that’s a terrible first impression.
Those kids assigned to Tucker will have a lot to talk about in class.
Next, teachers are a strong force in Columbia County. They work hard. They care about the community. They are also never fully appreciated. And guess what? They vote. So, don’t piss them off.
And, finally, while those students assigned this project are actually in middle school and they aren’t old enough to vote, guess who can? Their parents. And there are many moms and dads this week shaking their head at Tucker’s Facebook response.
Oh, one last thing— don’t think Tucker’s last line in her post went by unnoticed.
By ending the post with the comment, “I am curious if any of the other candidates have been bombarded with this today also,” she is basically implying that perhaps her campaign is being targeted by false emails from people pretending to be students.
Talk about the moment you need to stop and think before you hit the “post” button.
Well, supporters of one of her opponents, Columbia County Commissioner Doug Duncan, didn’t waste any time responding to Tucker’s post.
Specifically, one very outspoken critic of Tucker, Columbia County resident Trey Enfinger, not only showed Tucker that other candidates had received similar requests, but he also posted Duncan’s quick response to these same questions from middle school students.
Apparently, Duncan did not find the questions to be very difficult.
“Below are the answers that Doug Duncan provided a student at Evans Middle School who was working on the same project (as the questionnaire sent to Tucker),” Enfinger posted on May 15. “To answer Pam’s question… Yes. Other candidates were ‘bombarded’ with these requests as well.”
“Here are the difficult questions:
My name is A*****. I attend Evans Middle School and in the 8th grade. Today I was assigned a GA Candidate project and was lucky enough to get assigned to you. If you have have the time, please answer a few of these questions for my presentation. It will be greatly appreciated and will definitely help. Thank you.
When does the election take place?
Is this a local or state office?
Local. Columbia County Commission Chairman.
What are the qualifications to run for this office?
You must have been a citizen living in Columbia county for over a year and at least 21 years of age.
I’m in the Republican Party.
Bio (education/family/previous occupation)
I have a bachelors degree in business from Augusta State University. I am married in the past 30 years to Mrs. Jean Duncan. We have three children. I’m currently the Vice President of MAU.
Previous political experience?
I’ve served on the County commission for the last 3 1/2 years. I’ve also served as the state vice chairman of the governors office of workforce development and the chairman of the development authority of Columbia County.
Campaign Slogan and meaning?
“No drama just results.” I refuse to engage in negative campaigning and attacking my opponents and creating political drama.. I’m only focused on producing results for the county and citizens
Is Mr. Duncan the incumbent? If yes, when did he first enter office? If no, who is?
No, Mr. Ron Cross
Plan to grow Georgia’s economy?
U.S. Army cyber command is moving to the area from Fort Meade Maryland. It is a great economic blessing for us. I plan provide the necessary infrastructure to support the growth within our county.
What is your stance on gun control/gun violence
I’m a solid second amendment supporter. We have the right to bear arms. I believe all crimes committed with a gun should receive very strict penalties.
What is your stance on immigration?
I believe in legal immigration, not illegal immigration
What is your stance on Education?
I believe we should fund technical colleges more fully so they can provide the skilled labor our economy needs to thrive. We need electricians, plumbers and maintenance mechanics.
What do you think is the greatest issue facing Georgia and what are you doing to solve it?
A lack of skilled labor. See my answer above.
If my class were to vote, why should they vote for you?
Because I’m the most qualified candidate in the race.
Thank you for your time, I am looking forward to a response.
You see what Duncan did, here?
He probably spent maybe 10 to 15 minutes answering one email.
Now, he can copy and paste the exact responses to the other children who sent him the same questionnaire.
Depending on how many emails or texts he received this week, it might take a few minutes. But can you imagine how many students, teachers and parents he impressed spending that time to copy and paste those answers and send them back?
Yep. Tucker definitely stepped in it, once again.
Needless to say, Tucker quickly removed her post, but the damage was already done.
Word spreads quickly in Columbia County, and many voters weren’t impressed.
There might not be a runoff for Columbia County Commission Chair after all.