Losers: The more than 80 percent of registered voters that didn’t vote in either primary. That is shameful. Not exercising the hard-won right to vote is as un-American as burning our flag. Maybe worse. At least, flag burners make the effort. I was in Iraq when that country had its first vote on a new constitution and some people walked 20 miles to cast a ballot. Yet, we don’t vote because we are tired of robo-calls and it is too early in the year and we can’t vote for who we want to vote for and blah, blah, blah. I am usually in a mood to banter over differences of opinions, but not this time. There are no excuses so don’t bother trying.
Loser: Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw), aka, “Dr. No,” who didn’t win his seat in the last election as much as then-incumbent Judy Manning lost it. Now, Gregory has been booted out after one term in favor of attorney Bert Reeves. He was a total misfit in the Legislature and accomplished almost nothing of substance. He will now have to answer for an election-eve robo-call that attempted to smear his opponent. That should keep him busy for a while.
Loser: Rep. Sam Moore (R-Cherokee County) is also toast after less than one term in the General Assembly. Moore achieved instant pariah status with a bill that would have eliminated restrictions in keeping sex offenders away from areas such as playgrounds and schools and would have allowed them to refuse to identify themselves to law enforcement officers. That effort was a disaster and so was Moore’s nascent political career.
Winner: Political newcomer Michael Rhett unseated Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) who had served in the state senate for almost a quarter-of-a-century. Frankly, I don’t think Thompson’s heart was in it this time. He would be the first to tell you that he got out-campaigned by Mr. Rhett, pure and simple. Steve Thompson is a good man and I wish him well.
Winner: Rep. David Scott (D-13). (Surprised?) Scott, who represents portions of Cobb County, was an easy winner Tuesday. I considered David Scott a good friend when he was in the Georgia Legislature, but something happened when he got to Congress. I suspect he got a bad case of Potomac Fever. It happens. But I applaud his recent public indignation over the disgrace that is the Veterans Administration. He was mad and it showed. I was glad to see that. That was the old David Scott.
Loser: Trisha Pridemore. She had a lot going for her in the Republican primary for the 11th district congressional seat — a local, a female, the first Kennesaw State graduate to run for Congress, a pretty good-sized war chest and a lot of support from heavy hitters in the district — yet she received only 17 percent of the vote. A couple of political pros observed that she didn’t handle herself well in the debates. I would agree in the one debate I witnessed.
Loser: Larry Mrozinski, who got four percent of the vote in the 11th district race. I’m not sure why he was even running. He’ll probably tell me.
Winner: Edward Lindsey. Lindsey garnered only 14 percent of the vote in the congressional race, which was surprising, given his standing in the Legislature as majority whip. However, he never seemed to get traction in the campaign. Now, as he transitions back to private life, I will tell you that I have never dealt with a more worthy adversary or one for whom I have more respect and admiration than Rep. Lindsey. His whiny friends in the Legislature could take lessons from him. Edward Lindsey is a class act.
Winners: Former State Sen. Barry Loudermilk and former Congressman Bob Barr, who will face off in July for the right to represent the voters of the 11th District in Congress. Since there are no Democrats in the race, the winner of the runoff will be going to Washington in January.
Losers: Almost everyone involved in the Cobb County school board race with all the finger-pointing and sign-stealing and politically-motivated charges and countercharges. I’m still waiting for somebody to talk about the students and those that teach them. (I’m also still waiting for the geniuses at the Cobb School Foundation to update the information on their website, but that’s another story.)
Winners: Those of you who voted and exercised a privilege not available in many parts of the world. Abraham Lincoln said ours is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. But he never said it was guaranteed. That part is up to you and me. Thanks for making the effort.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb