As some of you may already know, I was very much involved with and had a vested interest in this race as my good friend was running for this seat. You can read my thoughts on why I thought my friend, Aaron Brooks, was the right man for this job here.
My friend lost. By 108 votes. That was the difference in this race. A difference of 1.9% . 2,885 votes vs. 2,777. A very slim margin, but a loss is a loss. It hurts. It sucks. But...it is what it is (and again, for the record, I hate that saying, but sometimes that's all you can say).
As I mentioned, I was very much involved with my friend's campaign. Not in any official capacity. As I told many folks over the last 8 months, I was just a friend trying to help get a good man elected to the Gold Dome. I was equal parts assistant campaign manager, sign putter-upper, canvasser, phone-banker, and fund-raiser. More importantly, I was an adviser, confidant, and friend to the man who had put it all on the line to try to create a better future for the 112th. It was truly an honor, and an experience I will never forget.
So...where do we go from here?
For starters, Newton Co. is having to wrap its mind around the fact that for the first time in generations (maybe in its entire history), that it will not have any representation in the state government. That's a shame when we had someone like Aaron that would have been such a great advocate and representative for the people. But, as many of us know. there were several folks in Covington and Newton Co. that didn't want that to happen. First and foremost would be the man that currently holds this seat, Doug Holt, and the man who finished 3rd in the primary that campaigned on the fact that we had to keep a Newton County resident in this seat - Ester Fleming. There were others as well. You can look at the campaign disclosures and see the usual suspects. The old money. The power elite. When things go the way I expect them to, remember who was responsible for this.
But I will sure as hell say this: Dave Belton, the man that completely changed all of his core stances and co-opted Aaron's entire platform (while also going negative and spreading lies) does NOT have a mandate in Newton Co. Look at the numbers. Aaron won Newton Co. with 60% of the votes and in some precincts was pushing 70%. Even after all of the old guard threw their weight behind Belton and his campaign pulled all of those punches, he didn't come anywhere close to winning anywhere in Newton Co. That's because most folks weren't buying it. And I tip my hat to them.
But, again, you have to go back to the phrase - it is what it is. I tell you one thing that puts a smile on my face, though. They, the other side, gave everything they had and spent so much dang money and completely shot their wad and 50.95% overall and 40% in Newton was as good as they could do. That tells you something right there. That says a lot.
As always, I remain very optimistic about the future.
Til next time...