Elections and God’s Country

By Lee Coleman, Managing Editor
The Thomaston Times
Thomaston, Georgia
April 30, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Upson County is having an election.

At 9 a.m. last Monday, Ed Crews and Bill Maher got Election, 2008 underway when they were the first candidates to show up at the County Registrar’s office to qualify for eight spots that will be up for grabs in the July partisan primary.

Maher said people are ready for a change and ready for a new direction in the county.

“It’s a new day, a new time,” he said.

Crews said it just so happens he’s the one that needs to be back in office.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said.

Both men are running on the Republican ticket and both men are seeking the chairmanship of the county commission.

They will be opposed by Democrat Maurice Raines and Republican Anthony South, who had to resign his commission seat in order to run for chairman.

So far, the candidates have been a little shy about stepping to the plate. As of press time Tuesday, only one candidate [Linda Hallman-Democrat] of the six who have announced plans to run for the seat of retiring Clerk of Superior Court Nancy Adams, has qualified.

Coroner Tim Cochran has qualified and it is widely believed he will run unopposed. Sheriff Don Peacock has qualified, and political insiders have suggested that Jeff Turner of the district attorney’s office may challenge Peacock.

No one has been heard from for tax commissioner or the District 1 and District 3 county commissioner’s seats.

Claude Turner, the current pastor at New Hope Baptist Church, has qualified to oppose incumbent Steve Hudson for the District 2 seat. Probate Judge Gary Hamby and Chief Magistrate Judge Danny Bentley will be seeking re-election in the June non-partisan primary.

Election Superintendent Norma Hodge is not surprised by the dribbling of qualifiers. She said Friday, between 11:30 a.m. and noon, could be the busiest time for her staff.

Hodge, a 32-year veteran of elections, indicated it could be quite possible most potential candidates are riding the time out to see who will run in what party.

Do they call that straddling the fence or running on conviction?

Qualifying for the partisan primary ends at noon on Friday.

I would like to thank my friend Ben Ellington of United Bank for my first trip to see the beautiful Flint River in all her glory. Ben took the time to take me out in his johnboat to do a little fishing and grab a whole lot of fresh air.

The Flint is truly a sight to behold. We were boating with mountains on both sides of the river and the term “God’s Country” best describes my thoughts after the day.

As a very soon-to-be resident of Upson County and Thomaston, I truly look forward to the opportunity to embrace the Flint River and all of her majesty.

Thanks Ben. I appreciate it. Although we only caught a few fish, I got hooked.

Same thing for Sprewell Bluff State Park. I rode out there last week to have lunch and see the place, and after my lunch break, I realized how much my batteries had gotten recharged just sitting there eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and listening to the gentle water rolling across a shallow rocky area.

As I left the park, I stopped at a area where they had a picnic table so folks could enjoy a view of the mountains. So I thought.

I got out of my SUV and walked to the edge of this overlook and the sight of the mountains and the forked Flint River below honestly took my breath.

I did not expect to see that. Us newspaper photographers call that kind of sight a “money shot.”

I got my money’s worth.

Reference: The Thomaston Times Newspaper, Thomaston, Georgia, Wednesday, April 30, 2008, http://www.thomastontimes.com/articles/2008/04/30/opinion/editorials/edit.2.txt

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