As expected, that race for the new 12th District congressional seat is starting to get crowded.
Republicans lining up to run against Democrat John Barrow include Lee Anderson and Rick Allen, along with recently announced candidate Wright McLeod, an Evans attorney.
This past week, Maria Sheffield – who last year lost in the primary in her run for state insurance commissioner – sent out a press release to say that she’ll make an announcement Dec. 1.
She lives in Mableton, Ga., far outside the district, and likely would move to run (even though the law should, but doesn’t, require congressional candidates to actually live in their district).
For someone who says she’s waiting to decide whether to run, Sheffield certainly seems to have made up her mind already. A campaign spokesperson last week was sending out releases on her behalf attacking Barrow.
Anderson hasn’t been waiting. He was first to announce for the seat, and this past week his camp sent out the first direct mail piece in the race. It didn’t break any new ground; basically, every Republican running is going to say exactly the same thing: Obama bad, Barrow bad, conservative good. With three, possibly four, maybe five candidates running, those messages are going to have to say something a wee bit more compelling to get any of them to stand out from the crowd.
The last one to craft that message might just be left at the starting line.
Incidentally, Reagan Williams is running Anderson’s campaign. He’s the former district representative for U.S. Rep. Paul Broun.
Broun’s local press spokesman, Jessica Hayes, says they still aren’t sure what Broun will do about his district office in Evans. With redistricting, that office no longer is in Broun’s district, which now covers only the northern and western portion of Columbia County.
I suggested they get a spot at Pollard’s Corner, but that probably won’t happen.
Meanwhile, one person who won’t be joining the District 12 race is state Rep. Ben Harbin. He’d been considering it, but on Thursday told me he’d instead decided to run for relection.
That seems like a wise decision to me.
Incidentally, for those who don’t know him, McCleod has a pretty well-known mom: Dorothy McLeod, the longtime maven of Social Inc.
He says he was one of her first students, decades ago – and met his wife because he had learned to dance.
For those who didn’t see it this past week, Mrs. McCleod and Social Inc. were featured in a story in The New York Times speculating on the death of civility in the South.
It included great photos of youngsters in their first class, learning the basics of greeting people with a handshake and a smile.
Many of us take that sort of thing for granted, but I am gradually becoming more and more accustomed to young people with absolutely no clue whatsoever about even rudimentary social graces.
If the South is that last holdout for civility, God help the rest of the country.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106. Follow at twitter.com/