“The Clerk Will Lock The Machines…”: Sine Die Is Nigh

I’ve been fortunate to have been able to visit the state capitol and hang out with a few of the legislators at least once during the session for the past few years.  Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to this year since my real job that pays the bills has been keeping me fairly busy for the past year or so.  I had made plans to at least head down for a few hours today on Sine Die before I head out to St. Louis for a friend’s wedding, but an early spring has sent plants into uber-pollen mode and has left me stuffy and congested.  So, I’m hanging out up here in Northwest Georgia just getting a little more rest before I head out for my St. Louis road trip.

It’s kind of a bittersweet day for me since the man who pretty much started my political career will be bidding the Georgia House farewell today.  Representative Martin Scott (R-Rossville) will not be running for re-election this November.  I first met Martin when he and Steve Ellis were out campaigning for the seat that was being vacated by then-Representative Brian Joyce (R-Lookout Mountain) in 2004.  I liked what he said and was impressed that he came out door-to-door in my area (it’s not exactly the easiest place to do a door-to-door campaign).  I voted for him in the Georgia General Primary (my first election after I turned 18) and volunteered for him in the General Election in November 2004.  I was impressed by his youth and energy.  He carried the ball for the Human Life Amendment, but was defeated when it was squelched by the former Speaker Glenn Richardson.

He then heard the call to preach the Gospel in the Chattanooga area.  He’s been attending seminary and will be finishing up this year.  He was ordained a few years back and started up River City Church (an Acts 29 Church) in Chattanooga (I’m a member there).  I’ve certainly seen a change in the man that I volunteered for in 2004 and the man that will be leaving the chamber today.  It’s a change that I believe that’s come with loving Jesus, loving neighbor, and being on mission.

It’ll be different not seeing his name on the board next year, but it’s a new season in life.  I consider it an honor to call Martin my pastor, brother, and friend.


  1. Todd Rehm says:

    Amen, Brother Smith. Autocorrect caught that I accidentally called you “Birther Smith.” nice to hear of a legislator who sets priorities like your friend does. One of the problems with politics is that the true public servants with balanced priorities often reach a point where other priorities and other ways of serving become more important.

  2. Rep. Scott will officially retire when this session ends, but it seems he hasn’t really been trying very hard since he was last reelected. We reviewed votes after last year’s legislative session and found that Scott voted “E” on half the stuff that came up for a vote. We have no issue with him answering a higher calling and leaving his position, but if he didn’t plan to show up he should have stepped down 15 months ago or not ran in 2010.

    On a related note, Alan Painter, the (so far) only candidate to replace Scott will be doing a live interview on UCTV tonight at 9:30. UCTV is Comcast 265 in Walker, Charter 5 on Lookout Mountain, and Comcast 96 in Chattanooga. You can also watch a live feed online at http://www.uctv265.com .

    — LU

  3. According to Alan there are now (including him) five who have said they plan to run for this seat:

    In his words: “Alan Painter – R Chattanooga Valley (Walker), Mike Nowlin – R Kensington (Walker), Tom McMahan – D Rising Fawn (Dade), John Deffenbaugh – R West Brow (Dade) Mr. Deffenbaugh had just gone public in the past 24 – 48 hours.”

    One of the five apparently hasn’t made a formal announcement yet, which is why he didn’t name them.

    A Democratic challenger, so this thing may go all the way to November. Of course none of this is official until qualification, so things could change quite a bit before the actual vote. The Dade county candidates will have a harder time of things because of where they live, so I’m seeing this as a race between Painter and Nowlin, and an easy defeat of McMahan in November.

    — LU

    • Doug Grammer says:

      There are at least two others who would have considered running if they lived in that district. I refused to move for it, and Steve Tarvin, well, who knows what Steve will do? Typically speaking, I wouldn’t think about running against a friend in a primary, but in an open seat situation…

      Tom McMahan might as well take $400 out of his pocket and set it on fire. That part of the race is over before it’s started.

      So far, I see Alan as having an inside track on this.

  4. Harry says:

    Who was the turkey Democrat in the Senate who carried a bill to permit students of the 38 private colleges in the state to use their various and sundry student IDs as proof for voting? That was an obvious attempt to weaken the standard and reopen court challenges. Wonder who put him up to it. That turkey needs some opposition.

Comments are closed.