As the last few votes are cast today, I’d like to give some praise to someone who, frankly, did a dumb thing as far as his political career is concerned.
Griffin Judicial Circuit (Fayette, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties) District Attorney Scott Ballard, shortly after assuming his duties in his first term, kept his commitment to a fellow church member and friend of his and testified as a character witness at his sentencing in a child molestation case. I don’t think there is a politician alive that would look at this act as a “positive” thing to do for his/her career. I know there are very few that would actually do such a thing.
The D.A.’s office was in shambles when Mr. Ballard was elected. I have my own anecdotal evidence as I was once subpeanaed to testify in a case. Once I had wasted an entire day of trying to figure out why I was there, a (now-former) assistant DA told me that she didn’t have time to talk to witnesses before hand, but then told me what she needed me to say on the stand. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the facts were 100% different from hers, and when called, I became an inadvertent defense witness.
The office is in much better shape now, 3 and a half years later. D.A. Ballard is facing his first re-election bid today, and is facing someone that, frankly, should be token opposition.
I do not know his opponent, but from what I’ve read, there seem to be serious issues of resume inflation, a disgruntled former employment situation, and the fact that he didn’t even live in the Griffin circuit until he sensed that Mr. Ballard might be vulnerable, and moved there to announce his candidacy.
I’ve known Scott for longer than most Peach Punditers have been alive. (Though if you ask him about Icarus, he’ll probably look at you a bit funny). I also know a lot of Scott’s current and former staff, and know the respect and dedication they hold for him.
In short, the only reason that there should be cause for concern that he would be re-elected is that he did a dumb thing. He kept his word to a friend of his, despite how it might look politically.
If we could only have more politicians who would do dumb things like that.