Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington penned his thoughts on what is ailing Georgia: his fellow Republicans.
The 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate, who came in second with 17% behind incumbent Governor Nathan Deal who garnered 72% of the Republican vote this past May, outlined the ills of Georgia pointing that Republicans don’t “practice what we preach” when it comes to limited government. Are we there after 12 years of holding the governor’s mansion? No, but I believe we are moving in that direction. Recently, we’ve seen pro-2nd amendment legislation given the green light by the Republican legislature and governor as well as zero-based budgeting and other things that have led to the growth of the Georgia economy.
It’s still sluggish, but with Georgia being ranked number one by a leading business news outlet, I believe it means that Georgia has a good long-term outlook as being a pro-business state. Of course, that also means that we need to work on how our public schools educate children, and Governor Deal has been working on that as well. In fact, the Technology Association of Georgia has joined with the governor in an effort to allow students to study programming languages as an alternative to some core curriculum courses. Chet has an article about that.
The former mayor closed with this:
In the last twelve years, Georgia’s Republican leadership has presided over what is arguably the largest economic decline, relative to the rest of the country, since the Civil War. This decline can be reversed if true limited government Republicans have the courage to enact bold policy changes. But the clock is ticking.
If he’s referring to all of Georgia’s Republican leadership, then I’m curious if he is lumping himself into that category since he served as Dalton’s mayor from 2007 until March of this year. Georgia is not an island (although, I’m sure that there are a few that wish it were). In the past 12 years, we have seen the recovery after 9/11 that was sluggish, and we saw the economic collapse due to the housing market in 2007. Georgia’s economy was impacted by the last downturn, and Mayor Pennington saw it first hand…and did help ease some of the woes caused by floor covering manufacturers closing plants in Dalton.
There are plenty of good Republican men and women governing our state, and put a lot of time, effort, and talent to make Georgia an even better state. I thought David was a good mayor and did a lot to help Dalton, and to an extent Whitfield County, ease the blow of the economic collapse. However, I’m willing to bet that governing a state with a population close to 10 million is a bit different than governing a city of about 33,500. I’m not sure if the former mayor is still licking his wounds from a long primary and flinging a few stones at #TheEstablishment Goliath, or if he’s trying to capitalize on the “anti-establishment” tone that has been fluttering about for the past few months and use it as momentum towards a 2018 campaign. The 2014 primaries are in the books, and no amount of rhetoric will change that and may work against his fellow Republicans.