Among the more difficult decisions voters will have this year will be deciding between two good men for the 117th District state House seat.
The post was vacated by Barry Fleming, who left to seek the 10th District congressional seat. Fleming, a top lieutenant in the House, leaves big shoes to fill.
It's the third time in a year Columbia County has lost a major leader. First was Charlie Norwood, who passed away last February and left a void in Congress. Then, when Jim Whitehead left the state Senate to seek Norwood's seat and lost, our community took a double hit.
That damage was mitigated somewhat when Bill Jackson came out of political retirement to win Whitehead's post.
Brett McGuire, who lost to Jackson in that election, had spent significant time in the Legislature assisting Whitehead after running Whitehead's Senate campaign. In endorsing Jackson last year, we said McGuire "is an outstanding candidate, and against almost any other field would be the odds-on choice. ... McGuire's day will come."
That day is here.
More than any other candidate, McGuire has well-thought, substantive ideas for serving in the legislature. He doesn't just talk in generalities about helping people and kissing babies, either.
In fact, while the big debate of the past year has been about tax reform and tax cuts, McGuire has been a rare voice also demanding the state make plans to spend less.
Such bluntness rarely endears itself to voters. And in that regard the always-serious McGuire has an uphill battle to win against Lee Anderson, who is the political equivalent of comfort food.
Anderson is a fine family man, an experienced, impeccably honest politician whose deep local roots undoubtedly give him the edge in the election. It's impossible not to recognize, however, that many voters might be uneasy about the idea of our fast-growing, upwardly mobile community being represented in Atlanta by a deep-drawling country farmer.
The great news is that the 117th District won't go wrong by electing either McGuire or Anderson. But because we must choose just one, we recommend Brett McGuire.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.