The Insider is obligated to say one last thing about Jim Bartley, the political firebrand who went up against incumbent Commission Chairman Ron Cross in the Republican Primary and ended up losing with a disappointing 40 percent of the vote, not because there’s anything left to say – the scoreboard, as they say, doesn’t lie – but because Bartley seems to be demanding it.
After blaming his loss on low voter turnout (only 19 percent of Columbia County voters cared enough about the condition of the county – or the fitness of the candidates – to bother to go to the polls), Bartley boasted that people were begging him to run against Cross again in November, this time as an independent.
People, of course, can beg you to do anything, but Bartley said he hadn’t made up his mind whether or not that was something he wanted to do, so he was apparently giving the idea at least some small amount of consideration.
Hopefully, he didn’t lose too much sleep over it, because it turns out he doesn’t really have anything to say in the matter. According to Nancy Gay, executive director of the Columbia County Board of Elections, Georgia election code is pretty clear about things when it says the following:
In accordance with O.C.G.A. § 21-2-133 and O.C.G.A. § 21-2-137 an unsuccessful candidate cannot qualify as an independent or write-in candidate for General Election for the same office in which they were on the ballot for in the General Primary. However, the unsuccessful candidate can qualify as an independent or write-in candidate for the General Election for a different office.
In other words, if Bartley wants to keep fighting Cross, he’ll have to wait his turn…or go back to the shadows where he started his attacks.