OUR VIEW: Need to see more contested races

Published 10:45 am Friday, October 16, 2020

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At the end of Tuesday night’s state representative election forum, each candidate was given a chance to make a closing statement.

Herbert Giles, a candidate for Georgia House District 69, probably didn’t have a great night overall, but part of his final statement was interesting.

In closing, Giles sort of joked that it would be a “miracle” if he won and said he was giving Nix, who has been re-elected every year since 2007, a little competition so that he wouldn’t win as easily.

Nothing is a given, but Giles is right that taking down Nix is going to be an extremely tall task. However, we are thankful that he and others have stepped forward to actually run for these very important decisions.

Look at the ballot for Troup County this year.

Senator Randy Robertson (District 29), Senator Matt Brass (District 28), Representative Vance Smith (District 133), Herb Cranford (District Attorney), Shane Frailey (Tax Commissioner), Jackie Taylor (Clerk of Superior Court) are all running unopposed in the general election.

Nix has run unopposed every year since 2012, when he defeated Giles. His only other opponent in all of his House races was way back in 2006, when he was first elected.

And we’re not picking on Nix, who has no control over whether anyone actually opposes him. The lack of opponents shows just how tough Democrats believe it would be to actually pry that seat away from him, especially considering the voter support he’s had through the years.

With that said, it’s best for everyone when there are opposing viewpoints in an election. It forces each candidate to dive deeper into their platforms, answer tough questions and actually get out and campaign for votes. The general public loses when there aren’t choices at the ballot box, and that’s whether you’re a Democrat or Republican.

We need more people willing to step up and run for public office in Troup County. Many people have opinions on how things should be done — you can find most of them on social media — but few actually step up to try to make a difference.

That’s because if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Few want to run for public office because it means talking about their past, which probably includes some decisions that weren’t always the best. It means being ready to answer tough questions about challenging topics and having a real solution ready to go. It’s not as easy as it looks from your couch, and it’s probably not worth all of the criticism.

We’re thankful each of our commission races has an opponent this year, as does the sheriff race, House 69 and House District 132.

Hopefully in the future, we can get to a point where every race on the ballot is contested, which creates more discussion, more campaigning and an actual choice for voters on Election Day.