Below is a guest post from Ronald Daniels, cross posted from his personal blog.
Ray McBerry has long run on a platform of “Georgia First”, in fact that is the name of his website. However in his campaign for Governor, McBerry has neglected to do one thing – put Georgia first.
For months there has been talk of McBerry having had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl – from blogs to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the story has made the rounds. He remains innocent until proven guilty of course. For now consider these stories allegations – because that is what the stories are. Allegations of misconduct. Unlike a normal rumor these allegations are somewhat more substantial, being covered by major news sources in Georgia.
But they remain allegations – and here is where the problem starts. Georgia is last in education, under Civil Rights voting laws, in rough economic shape, and a plethora of other problems. What we need right now is a Governor who is willing to work. What we do not need is a cloud hanging over the Governor’s head – these allegations would be that cloud. We do not need the national attention about a Governor who possibly had an inappropriate relationship with a minor. If Ray McBerry truly wanted to put Georgia first, he would drop out. Let me make this expressly clear: regardless of the validity of these allegations, they cast a cloud that we do not need hovering over the Governor’s office. Unless McBerry can clear his name imediately beyond a reasonable doubt, he should drop out. Not for the Georgia GOP, but for Georgia herself. McBerry needs to do as he claims he will do, and put this great and glorious state first.
But McBerry has never been serious about putting Georgia first. While that is his rhetoric and campaign slogan, even his nuanced debating style reveals that he puts McBerry first. Listen to any of his speeches and you hear one common phrase, “Ray McBerry is . . .” “Ray McBerry wants . .” Ray speaks of himself in the third person, showing that he puts himself before others. The whole campaign is about McBerry and not about Georgia. McBerry puts McBerry first.
I think anyone who wants to run for an office should do so. I think the marketplace of ideas is better facilitated when there are more actors with varying ideas. But Ray McBerry needs to step down for the betterment of Georgia. We do not need an alleged child molester running for the highest office in Georgia. Either unequivocally provide evidence that these allegations are false and clear your name fully, or drop out. This is not about you, Ray McBerry. This is not about the Republican Party, Ray McBerry. This is about the Peach State, beautiful Georgia – and you are certainly not putting Georgia first.