Why vote for governor on July 24?

Published 8:19 pm Sunday, July 22, 2018

There is an excellent chance that the winner of the Republican primary runoff this Tuesday, July 24, 2018, will be the next Governor of the State of Georgia.

The result in the “ballot box” will set the course for Georgia’s future.

However, the turnout in most primary runoffs, regardless of party, is shockingly low. This is sad and unacceptable, particularly in light of the many governments around the world who deny their people this natural and God given right. Our vote not only plays a part in an election, it shows gratitude for a right that thousands of Americans have fought and died for beginning with the American Revolution.

Because of the sacrifices of our founders, soldiers, and protectors of the Constitution, I consider voting a primary way of saying “thank you to these heroes.

I also consider voting to be my duty as a citizen.

Currently, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle is facing Sec. of State Brian Kemp to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal. The winner of the vote on Tuesday will face former Rep. Stacy Abrams in November. While many people choose not to vote for a variety of reasons (or excuses), consider taking 30 minutes to research the candidates from objective sources. Compare and contrast each candidate, decide whether you agree with their vision and message for the future, view their prior track record as a public servant and private citizen, and their stance on issues important to you and our state. Then, get over to your precinct and vote for who you believe will best serve our state for the next four (maybe eight) years.

Interestingly, while both men are Republicans, you may find quite a few differences in them.

Does it matter who wins? Absolutely.

In Georgia, the governor is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Georgia.

The 82nd and current governor of Georgia is Nathan Deal.

The governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms, thus Gov. Deal cannot seek re-election in 2018 because he has served two terms.

Voting in the governor’s race is particularly important because the winner will wield great power in this state. Some of those powers include:

1. Proposing new programs and laws for the state. The governor’s agenda is put forth and advocated in the House and Senate by his floor leaders;

2. Proposing a state budget for the General Assembly to consider. Georgia operates on an annual budget cycle. In January the governor submits his proposed budget to the General Assembly. The General Assembly adopts a budget in March or April, effective for the fiscal year beginning in July.

3. Use of the line item veto. This is a “partial veto” that nullifies or cancels specific provisions of a bill without vetoing the entire legislative package. Georgia is joined by 43 other states that give this power to the governor. The President does not even possess this power.

4.  Wide latitude in issuing executive orders. This includes appointing members of many of the boards in state government, judges, district attorneys, and others within the criminal justice system. Unlike federal judges, the appointment of judges in Georgia does not need Senate confirmation.  To see the list of Gov. Deal’s judicial appointments and executive orders, go to Gov.georgia.gov/executive-orders.

Most importantly, the governor of Georgia has enough power to lead the state in just about any direction he wants if the majorities in the House and Senate share the same party affiliation as the governor. Today, Republicans control both chambers.

For example, this power gave Gov. Deal the ability to significantly change the criminal justice system with overwhelming bipartisan support over his eight years in office.

Georgia is the undisputed leader in the South. Let’s once again assert our leadership by surprising the nation with a high voter turnout on Tuesday and proving that Georgians care about who leads our state.

Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff is critical and will affect Georgia for years.

Let’s do our duty and vote on Tuesday.