Talk about flip flopping on an issue.
Just a few short months ago, Sonny Pittman, the president of the West Augusta Alliance, proclaimed that he would offer himself as a candidate for the appointment to the District 7 seat because he wasn’t interested in the permanent position.
Instead, Pittman talked about how former District 7 candidate Ken Echols deserved the permanent seat, but voters would decide during the March 15 special election.
Of course, then, a few days later, Pittman officially withdrew his name from consideration to serve as the interim District 7 commissioner because he was “deeply discouraged” by the process being used to select a replacement for former Commissioner Donnie Smith.
Pittman told commissioners back then that he no longer wanted to be a part of this “very public political horse trading side show.”
Soon after, Pittman was constantly being interviewed by the media about a back-room deal that Commissioner Grady Smith allegedly made with Commissioner Marion Williams to get his good ol’ buddy, Louis “Hap” Harris, appointed to the District 7 seat.
The next thing Augustans knew, the board of directors of the West Augusta Alliance sent a formal request to Augusta commissioners demanding that they convene a public hearing in west Augusta, preferably at the Warren Road Community Center, to discuss citizens’ concerns about the interim appointment.
In a personal email to commissioners, Pittman also requested that once the hearing was concluded, the commission should immediately make their interim District 7 appointment.
Both of those requests were flat out ignored by commissioners.
They did not give Pittman the time of day.
Instead, seven commissioners voted to appointment Harris to represent District 7 without any public discussion whatsoever.
And now Pittman wants to become a commissioner?
In his announcement this week, Pittman said he is running because west Augusta deserves a “strong, independent voice for our district.”
Despite their past differences, Pittman insists he is willing to work with everyone on the commission.
“A commissioner must work with the rest of the commission to accomplish anything,” Pittman wrote, “but they must do so while always first guarding the interests of the voters who put them into office.”
It’s bad when you are running for a seat and you’ve already burned bridges with some of your potential colleagues on the commission.
But those commissioners who were rubbed the wrong way by Pittman earlier this year don’t seem too concerned about his announcement this week.
After all, many folks remember that Pittman is an expert at running for political races, but he’s definitely not an expert at winning.
Pittman ran for the District 7 seat on the Richmond County Commission in 1992 and lost.
He then ran for the Richmond County Board of Education in 1994 and lost.
He then ran for the Georgia House of Representatives in 1998 and lost.
And he most recently ran for the commission’s District 10 seat and… yeah, you guessed it, he lost.
Hopefully, he was at least smart enough through the years to print a bunch of generic “Vote for Pittman” signs and buttons that he can keep using and using and using.