I am the chairwoman of the Columbia County Democratic Party. Recently, I have been asked by some of the candidates for county commission seats if they could come to one of our meetings and extend an "olive branch," shall we say, to our party members.
I was willing to give these candidates a forum to deliver their message to us, since the Democratic Party represents about 35 to 38 percent of the voters in this county. I then took the unusual step of inviting all the candidates - local, state and congressional - to also attend the same night: June 16 at the Columbia County Government Complex Auditorium.
Well, it turns out that some of the Republican candidates are too leery to come into our territory and speak openly to all the voters in the county, not just the Republicans. After I set this up, I never heard back from some candidates even though one of the Republican candidates for Senate, Saxby Chambliss, was sending a representative, and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun and 10th District Congressional candidate Bobby Saxon, who are running against each other, have decided to reschedule a debate after the primary.
Well, lo and behold I received an interesting call from Columbia County Republican Party Chairwoman Debbie McCord, advising me that she had been getting a lot of calls from her Republican candidates who will not commit to this forum. I asked her why, and her reply was that she never advises any of her candidates to speak at any Democratic function.
She advised that June 16 was also their regular night for meetings at the same place, and that she was going to check with the clerk at the commissioners office as to why the clerk reserved the room that evening for my event.
If the Republican machine here in Columbia County is too reluctant to have their candidates speak openly and publicly at any event, then I ask myself (the voters in this county should also): Why be afraid? What do the Republicans have to hide from their constituency?
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