Of all the candidates running for office whose district touches Columbia County, the most intriguing might very well be David Vogel.
I’m pretty sure you have no idea who that is. Don’t worry; he isn’t going to be elected, so you won’t have to remember it. And most people in Columbia County will never see his name on the ballot, because it appears in just one precinct.
Vogel, a Democrat, is challenging veteran Republican lawmaker Tom McCall. Vogel is from Hull, Ga., in Madison County. McCall is a resident of Elberton. Though both are far away from Columbia County, one of them will be a member of the county’s legislative delegation next term.
Like state Sen. Jesse Stone, who lives in Burke County but picked up a relative handful of Columbia County voters along the Richmond County line when the state’s maps were redrawn, McCall’s 33rd District state House seat pokes into Columbia County, picking up voters who cast ballots at Damascus Baptist Church in Leah.
I have happy childhood memories of Damascus. It was a sister church to my church, Sharon Baptist in Winfield, and shared the Rev. Harold Eubanks. He once appeared on a network television game show, “To Tell the Truth,” where he showed off his prowess with a turkey call.
But I digress, which is fine: Columbia County has about as little to do with the 33rd District as turkey-calling does with the ministry. Yet here we are, thanks to lawmakers who carved up Columbia County like a Thanksgiving turkey.
I’ve chatted recently with the candidates for the 33rd District House seat and the 24th District state Senate seat. Both have a safe Republican incumbent facing a long-shot Democrat.
In fact, Stone’s challenger, Robert Ingham – who has sought office five times before, unsuccessfully – says the main reason he’s running is so Stone has to run against someone.
That doesn’t appear to be Vogel’s aim. But what makes his challenge intriguing is the pox-on-both-houses attitude he takes toward politics. He talks about the parties being “in a slogan fight” that has the country “polarized and paralyzed.”
His contribution to fighting back is a Web site at www.noslogans.org, where he professes to promote “evidence-based policy.”
I won’t bore you with details. It covers everything from taxing the rich (he seems to be for it) to high-speed chases (he’s against), but it’s worth looking up – if, for no other reason, for entertainment purposes.
Meanwhile, speaking of intriguing, by midday Monday more than 600 people had already cast ballots during early voting in Columbia County. Make sure you remember to do so between now and Nov. 6.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106. Follow at twitter.com/