Campaign Watch is an occasional report from Hometown Headlines leading up to the Nov. 7 election.
Party lines? The candidates for the Rome City Commission do not declare party allegiance. That’s not to say you know who’s what way before the first vote is cast. And in a county where 70 percent of the vote usually is Republican vs. Democrat, it might mean something.
But the party lines are being drawn pretty heavily this year, according to critics from both sides.
Example 1: Randy Quick, one of six contenders for three seats on the Rome City Commission. He made his announcement to run at the August rally of the Floyd County Republican Party. Likewise, the party’s Facebook page has shared an upcoming campaign event for Quick. Incumbent Wendy Davis, in an email to supporters, used a “P.S.” on a recent newsletter to say the Republicans are backing one of her opponents.
Example 2: Davis is a staunch Democrat and serves as a super delegate to the Democratic National Convention as well as a member of the Democratic National Committee. She is active in the local and state parties as well. Again, critics point to this when they’re asked about any GOP support for Quick.
So how does it translate? We won’t know until the first campaign finance reports come out now that qualifying for Ward 2 is over. For an unscientific approach, check the yard signs for the candidates and which yards they’re in.
Also in the hunt are incumbents James Doss and Sue Lee as well as newcomers Bill Kerestes and Monica Sheppard. The top three vote getters win the commission seats for the next another four years.
Signs of the times: Just as quickly as candidate qualifying ended, we started to see “vote no on SPLOST” signs go up at key properties across Greater Rome. About a dozen have been counted so far. On Facebook, we’re seeing the “vote yes” images for the education tax extension. Look for the yes/no countywide vote on both the government services and education SPLOSTs to be very divided.
Rome attorney David Guldenschuh has become an expert on Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution. He devotion to the cause has earned him a position as policy adviser to the Heartland Institute Center for Constitutional Reform and he also serves as president of the Committee for a Fiscal Responsibility Amendment. Earlier this week, Guldenschuh’s guest column got some national exposure in The Washington Times. You can read the full text here. The following is how he opens it up:
“In ancient mythology, the phoenix was a symbol of rebirth. As its former life came to an end in a show of flames and spontaneous combustion, a newer, even better life was born from the ashes of its predecessor.
“Today, our country, like the dying phoenix, finds itself afire with extremists from across the political spectrum. Our federal government is wholly dysfunctional, mired in investigations, unable to pass a budget, helpless to fix a broken health care system, and too busy vacationing to address our country’s infrastructure problems. The divided politics of Washington has spewed into the streets of Alexandria, Baltimore, Charleston, Charlottesville, New York, Orlando, San Bernardino and many more places.
“Abraham Lincoln once said, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.” With Washington paralyzed by dysfunction and the people at arms on social media and in the streets, we must ask: Where will this country find the leadership to rise from a society disintegrating into ashes?
“The hope lies in Phoenix. On Sept. 12, the states will assemble in Arizona in a historic convention of states to discuss their authority under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to propose amendments to restructure and repair the broken federal government. To be clear, the Phoenix convention has been called by the Arizona State Legislature to plan for a future Article V convention of states to propose a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. But its import goes far beyond that.”
On radio: Rome Attorney David Guldenschuh will join us at 12:05 this afternoon on Talk of the Town on WRGA 98.7 FM and online at wrga.streamon.fm to talk about the Article 5 convention coming up in September in Phoenix and what it means to the nation.
Starting Tuesday and continuing through Friday, Hometown Headlines will post interviews with the Rome City Board of Education candidates. We’re posting five per day and then all 15 in a joint posting on Friday. Natalie Simms is conducting the interviews and writing brief profiles of the hopefuls. Each candidate has received the same email questionnaire; we will publish them in the order they are returned to us.
The Floyd County Republican Women meet Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Red Lobster on Shorter Avenue. Lunch is at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at noon. Guest speaker: Earl Tillman, longtime community leader.
The Floyd County Democratic Party’s annual Georgia Giants dinner will be held Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. on Lyons Bridge Farm in Cave Spring, owned by Wes Walraven and Brian Moore. Tickets for the dinner are $50 until Sept.15, thereafter $60. Tables and sponsorship opportunities, including providing complimentary tickets for students, are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.fcdems.org or by mailing a check to the Floyd County Democratic Party, PO Box 844, Rome, GA 30162.
Oct. 10: The last day to register to vote if you’re a lapsed or new city resident.
Advance voting begins Oct. 16 and ends Nov. 3.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.