That’s a headline that you would have never seen 10 to 12 years ago. Had you told someone in 2000 that the Democrat Party in Walker and Catoosa would be virtually extinct today, they would have probably laughed at you and called you insane. However, that’s the situation we are now facing up here in northwest Georgia. Republicans effectively hold all offices except for one school board post in Walker County. In Walker County, 23 people qualified as Republican for county office, and only 2 people qualified on the Democrat ticket for county office. Georgia is historically–good, bad, or indifferent–a one party state. We saw the start of the transition in 2000 and now we’re seeing the end of the transition today.
I believe a lot of old-school “Southern Democrats” have had to do a lot of soul-searching this year in determining if they want to continue under the Democrat banner with President Barack Obama…definitely a tough sell up here in Northwest Georgia. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of folks that will say “Romney is no better…etc.”, but the average voter will probably vote Republican this year in Dade, Walker, Catoosa, and Whitfield (Chattooga County is that odd little Democrat strong hold…we’ll be working on moving them to the “R” side of the column in the next couple of election cycles, but I’d say that they’ll be voting Romney over Obama…just my gut feeling).
I’m not naive though. I know that there are some tried and true Democrats that are parading under the banner of Republican because they know that’s the only way they can win re-election (at least, that’s what they believe…and they’re probably right). Every office in Walker County, except for 2 school board posts, are facing primary opposition. I personally have my favorites, but I believe my duty as chairman is to make sure the county party remains neutral and allows candidates to have an equal opportunity to use the county party as a resource. It’s the duty of the primary voters that pull a Republican ballot, not the county party or its officials, to choose who they believe best represents their values. That just doesn’t go for my county, but the other 158 counties as well.