You have to hand it to Alan Painter for daring to challenge Bill McDaniel, who has become something of an institution at the Walker County courthouse, for the office of county clerk.
Nevertheless, the venerable Mr. Bill is well beyond normal retirement age, and although he has served the county with great distinction for many years, the office still belongs to the people; nobody is irreplaceable.
Painter, who resigned his seat on the school board to run for the clerk’s post, is quite frankly a near-genius in organizational abilities, and the county would do very well by having his expertise in local government.
In the contest to replace Brian Joyce as state representative, Martin Scott, the Republican, is much more likely to follow in the conservative footsteps laid down by Joyce than his Democratic opponent, Sadie Morgan.
Indeed, from my point of view, Joyce has always been just about the perfect state representative, just as Randy Bryant has come close to perfection as a member of the school board. We’ll miss them both.
Speaking of the school board, the race between Phyllis Hunter, running as a Republican, and Jerry Durham, the Democrat, is undoubtedly the contest with the highest profile.
This is largely due to the controversy surrounding the candidacy of Hunter, who, some think, should have resigned her position with the schools before becoming a candidate, whether mandated by law or not.
Her resigning upon announcing her intention to unseat Bryant in the Republican primary would have lent much credence to her campaign, as I’ve maintained all along. As it is, she isn’t seen by everyone as a serious candidate.
In fact, Durham, her opponent, appears to be doing all the campaigning. In addition, Durham has let it be known that he intends to carry on the example set by Bryant, which places me solidly in his camp.
Hunter, by the way, has stated that her being an insider puts her in a better position, as a potential school board member, to know “what the schools need.”
Actually, however, we’re already covered in that regard. Walker Countians are paying Superintendent Roy Sapough and a staff for that purpose, and rather nicely. Taxpayers elect and depend on school board members to determine what the schools don’t need as well.
The other school board races, regrettably, don’t appear to be making any waves. Nobody is standing out by having a particularly interesting platform, and one supposes that popularity, rather than reform, will decide who wins the “Tax Approved” rubber stamp for these seats.
Regarding the state representative’s race between incumbent Mike Snow and Republican Jay Neal, I honestly don’t know, at this point, which candidate I favor — which is more than a little unusual for me.
We certainly need a conservative voice in Atlanta, particularly in the House of Representatives, where real conservative leaders are in short supply. Jay Neal, on first thought, would seem to be the answer, since he is the Republican.
While Snow, the Democrat, is by and large a conservative as well, one has to bear in mind that his conservative wishes don’t always bear fruit in the House, where his hands are tied by largely liberal leadership.
In other words, for example, Snow would probably vote for any House measure restricting abortion, should it come to the floor for action. It is highly unlikely any such bill will come to the floor, however, because, again, liberals rule the roost in the House.
Senate Bill 23, the Woman’s Right to Know bill, although it passed handily in the Senate, died in the House due to inaction by Democrat-ruled committees. If there ever was a bill that needed passing, this one is it.
The question is, which candidate, Snow or Neal, would be more demanding of House leadership that SB-23 be allowed on the floor for a vote? Would Snow jeopardize his standing by so demanding, and would Neal have the gumption to buck a Democratic majority?
Tom Theus, a LaFayette resident, is a freelance writer