ERICKSON: Marauding bands of the mundane

August 23, 2013 

I just do not get the sense that anyone is enthusiastic about the city-county elections for our consolidated government. After decades of working toward this, the county is giving a collective yawn.

The fiasco within the Bibb County Democratic Party is about the only excitement. They want to boot Steve Allen from the Board of Elections. The Bibb County Democratic Party might want to impose an IQ test on its leadership and just go on and boot anyone who scores above a 40.

Tuesday night, I took the kids to Ingleside Village Pizza for supper. The kids sat facing the wall of stickers. My 7-year-old wondered why Jack is not allowed at Ingleside. She saw the sticker with the red circle and line through the name Jack. I had to explain who C. Jack Ellis is and why some people do not like him.

This led to a discussion of the mayoral race. I told my daughter I was voting for Robert Reichert because I know him, like him and think city consolidation issues would benefit from him being there. I told her another great guy running is Sam Hart. I used to work with him and know his son. He would be a great choice too.

The 7-year-old decided she would vote for Sam Hart or Charlie Bishop because she likes the names Sam and Charlie but particularly Sam, so she would go with him. Works for me. My 7-year-old voting based on a first name is probably where we are headed. There are so many candidates struggling to get their names out and profiles raised and so many candidates we have seen so many times in the past. Exactly how many times has Theron Ussery run before? No offense intended, but at some point “perennial” gets attached to the word “candidate.”

I finally pulled up The Telegraph website to even find out what district I am in. Turns out it is District 4, which went for Nathan Deal over Roy Barnes in 2010, has a 70 percent white voting-age population, and is 61 percent Republican. Mallory Jones III, Beverly Olson, and Theron Ussery are the candidates. I’ll go with Beverly. She took my seat on City Council, we go to church together, and I know her personally. That’s not to dissuade you from the other candidates, I just know Beverly.

There have been no organized door knockers in my neighborhood yet. I suppose as a former political consultant, that is the most frustrating thing about this race. There are programs out there such as Political Gravity that allow local candidates to build and shape walk lists and call lists. They can go door to door to targeted houses, e.g. only those that have a propensity to vote in municipal elections, and have volunteers follow up with phone calls. Bibb County seems to run based on word of mouth and relationships. An aggressive upstart with the right tecnology could have qualified and outworked everyone to an election win.

The lack of fresh faces really is staggering. Only one race, District 7, which covers south Bibb County, has really fresh faces in it -- Eric Arnold, Barry Bell and also Scotty Shepherd, who has run before. I think I need to hijack Leadership Macon and teach some of the up-and-coming young leaders how to run for office.

There’s no excitement in what should be an exciting time and few fresh faces when we have a chance to start fresh. Now, the election is in November, right? Just kidding. Early voting begins Monday with Sept. 17 as the final day to cast a ballot.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

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