Okay folks, I understand that in any given political race there are going to be spouses, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and assorted others who can be counted on to vote for even the most unqualified, bat-crap crazy fool that manages to qualify to run for a particular office.
But even with that in mind, how in the Blue Hell are there over SEVEN THOUSAND PEOPLE in the Augusta Judicial Circuit who managed to vote for Chris Nicholson over incumbent Superior Court Judge Carl Brown?
Could it be a race thing? Are there that many redneck fools who would vote against Brown, who is black, in favor of a white geriatric loose cannon who is five minutes away from a padded room and a glass of warm milk?
It boggles the mind.
I am as conservative as you can get on law and order issues, and I would take Judge Carl Brown as my “jurist of choice” any day against any bad guy in these United States.
But there are over SEVEN THOUSAND ignorant, G-Damn fools within our ranks who would put Nicholson on the bench instead.
Lord bless us all, and thank Heaven above Brown won overall with 82% of the of the total vote, but the thought of those others out there living and breathing and voting among us, is as chilling as it comes.
In other great news from the Superior Court, long time State Court Judge John Flythe wins his race to take over for that retiring “left wing pain in the ass to all that is good and right” Judge Carlyle Overstreet. Talk about the mother of all upgrades, what a super-duper replacement!
Here’s to hoping our new Chief Judge, the aforementioned Carl Brown, uses Overstreet and a few other fossils that have been gumming up the works as “Senior Judges” (yes Judge Fleming, I mean YOU), as little as humanly possible.
Congratulations to the man who will take over for the retiring Barbara Sims as our next State Representative from the 123rd District, Dr. Mark Newton. It was a contest that had as many bizarre twists as any we have seen in a while. Before Sims even announced she was hanging it up, former Augusta Mayor Bob Young let it be known that he was likely to challenge her. A surprising and abrupt backlash erupted, headed I am told by former Augusta City Commissioner and current local DOT rep Don Grantham. As personable as Bob can be, I am surprised at times by the tenacity of those who don’t like him. Dr. Mark Newton was drafted to become “heir apparent” among the West Augusta powerbrokers, and in two seconds Young was out of the race. As quick as he was out, attorney Wright McLeod jumped in. No need to rehash the series of mishaps and outright lies that helped sink his chances, but suffice to say we may not in our lifetime see a better qualified and accomplished political candidate from this area, who was also “snakebitten” and unlucky.
McLeod’s problems should take nothing away from Dr. Newton, who just may join forces with rookie 122nd Rep. Jodi Lott to provide a powerful voice in medical regulation reform and healthcare law, which is sorely needed, and would rightly be coming from the true “medical capital” of the state, the Augusta metro community.
This election cycle also saw two longtime incumbents tested for no reason whatsoever, other than the political ambitions of the challengers.
One survived the battle, one did not.
If there is a better man serving anywhere in local elected office than Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins, I have not met him. His challenge from the son of the man who once hired him as his Deputy Coroner, was a bit of a surprise. Tommy King, Jr. collected only 28% of the vote in his quest to unseat Collins. (Full disclosure here, Tommy is a cousin of mine.)
TK Jr. spent most of his life in law enforcement, and may re-emerge as a viable candidate if Collins ever chooses to retire. But not this time.
Things did not work out so well for longtime Richmond County Marshal Steve Smith. Richmond County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Ramone Lamkin defeated Smith with 52% of the vote. Smith had a successful run in office with virtually no scandal or serious complaints ever directed his way, but he is also one of the last of a very rare breed, a white politician serving at the pleasure of a majority black (54%) city population.
While Lamkin is a talented and bright law enforcement professional, there is no doubt that the reason he was able to unseat the time tested, and personally popular veteran Marshal, is the same reason his boss Sheriff Richard Roundtree was 4 years ago able to defeat a similarly better qualified, better educated, and better suited leader in Scott Peebles.
They are both black.
Nothing wrong with that, but if either of those men had run their respective races as “white guys” with the same exact credentials, they would not have come close to winning. Period.
Before certain white folks get all giddy in thinking they always field superior candidates, I kindly remind you of the white loser detailed above in Chris Nicholson, who still managed to collect 7,000+ votes against a clearly superior (and sane) opponent in Judge Carl Brown, currently Augusta’s longest tenured black elected official.
Speaking of nutballs, I am shocked, stunned, and highly disappointed that Joe Edge somehow managed to collect the third highest vote count in the crowded race to replace retiring Georgia State Senator Bill Jackson. It was late, late in the evening before we got word that Edge had narrowly missed the runoff against Lee Anderson. Greg GRZYBOWSKI managed to sneak in with just a 1% advantage over Edge, with almost 19% of the vote. Anderson led the way with 36%.
Edge, who provided 15 minutes of drama back during the race to replace Ben Harbin, who cashed in/retired from his 122 district House seat, may be one of the smarmiest weasels to ever declare for local public office. He was recorded by his fellow smarmy weasel Joe Mullins, in a now infamous phone call during which all forms of unethical political skullduggery was planned and discussed.
That Edge thought he was electable so soon after such a hideous public display is laughable. That he was able to collect almost 2,300 votes, more than either Peter Gibbons (endorsed by The Augusta Chronicle) or Pat Goodwin, is astonishing.
I started the column tonight a bit down on some of our local voters, at least six to eight thousand of them, as reprehensible examples of completely disconnected morons.
Then I was reminded of our two major party Presidential nominees. Since none of our worst local candidates managed to actually win, or even make a runoff, it looks like we are doing better down this way than the nation at large.
So we got that going for us.