Oh, joy. A full week of candidates qualifying for office. Next time, if I win the coin toss, I'll choose the swan dive off a tall building. It'll be quicker and less painful.
Around the state, one of the funnier candidates qualifying was Jim Sendelbach.
Remember him? Probably not. He ran last year as a libertarian for Charlie Norwood's 10th District seat as part of the free-for-all of 10 candidates, so it's no surprise if he's unremarkable.
But during debates, he was often the wittiest of the bunch - a little brainy, a little nutty, as befitting a guy whose job is psychotherapist.
Sendlebach showed up again last week, signing up for the Georgia House district seat formerly held by Ron Sailor - an ex-lawmaker who probably is going to jail for stealing from his church.
This time around, Sendelbach is running as a Democrat. I'm guessing he's still probably a little witty and a little nutty.
Speaking of nutty, a couple of people e-mailed me with puzzlement about a Tuesday press release.
The message arrived shortly after state Rep. Ben Harbin was to have appeared in court in Atlanta on a DUI charge. The case was again delayed by mutual agreement of the new prosecutor in the case, who replaced the previous prosecutor who died of old age (just kidding), and of Harbin's defense attorney.
The press release's subject line said "Message from Ben Harbin," and naturally the timing made recipients - including me - assume he was issuing a statement on the case.
Nope. Instead it contained a recycled message noting that Harbin had received an award from the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust a week earlier - an award for which his office had already sent out an announcement days before.
Ah, well. Harbin last broke his silence to speak about the case at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Post-Legislative Breakfast last year. The next one is coming up May 22, so maybe he'll have more to say by then.
Two people who qualified this past week were Paul Broun and Barry Fleming, who plan to mud-wrestle for the 10th District congressional seat.
This race to the July 15 Republican primary will seem like a barefoot sprint over broken glass.
The public is insulated from most of the petty nastiness of races. Generally the media picks up and redistributes only the more substantive charges and counter-claims. Or the really ugly ones.
Currently, Fleming partisans are chuckling because they believe Broun backed himself into a corner. Fellow Republican Georgia congressmen recently held a fund-raiser in Washington to help Broun retire his debt; soon after, Broun's office issued a press release crowing about the event.
The announcement did not use the word "endorsement," but nonetheless claimed that all of the other Republican members of the delegation back Broun.
(Specifically, the headline of the press release reads, "GOP Delegation says 'Broun'/ Georgia's Republican Congressmen Support Fellow House Member Paul Broun's Re-Election With Washington Fund Raiser.")
Questioned about the exuberant tone, Broun soon fine-tuned those comments. He was quoted in the Atlanta paper's Political Insider column as saying, "We never claimed it as an endorsement. They did this fund-raiser, and you can characterize it however you want to do it. It was not an official endorsement of my candidacy."
OK, so it isn't an "endorsement," but I'm not sure how else you'd interpret a line that says those fellow lawmakers "support... Broun's re-election."
Ten weeks to go. Where's that building...
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
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