National and state Democrats should be watching and helping in the local elections in Sylvester, Georgia, because their hope for the future starts here. Elections on three levels are won by securing the political center and the local mayor’s contest should be the proving grounds for the 2014 U.S. Senate race and the 2016 presidential race.
The Democratic Party of Georgia and of most southern states is struggling with the lost of rural conservative voters. The current mayor of Sylvester has had support from a cross-section of the community in a manner that is similar to Congressman Austin Scott. If the mayor is a Dem and if he does not win reelection, he should get a visit from the new head of the DPG, Dubose Porter. That would be a meeting of two of the last rural White Democrats and they could plan and plot how to bring people like them back to the party.
If the mayor is GOP, he should help his fellow Republicans learn to respect the office of the president as much as Democrats respected the Bushes and President Reagan. How many folks still can’t bring themselves to say “President Obama” or “President Clinton?” Those “Charlton Heston Is My President” bumper stickers in the 90s were downright un-American and no, it wasn’t a NRA reference.
They better get use to saying President Clinton because Hillary has a date with destiny that begins with our local elections. One of the mayoral candidates is more conservative than me and seems more conservative than the other candidate. But here is the kicker: it’s the Black Democrat pastor.
Oh my goodness, I went to one of his political events and it was textbook what rural southern voters have been craving for decades without the hate speak. We are talking faith-based common sense solutions for problems with every community. See, reasonable people know that improving the South starts with addressing issues with the worst segment of the community—let’s be honest. We can’t ignore them because eventually they will bring down the whole community like cancer in the body. Georgia’s governor knows we spend too much money on these jokers in failing schools then more money locking them up.
The current mayor and city council provide basic public services; they do their official jobs well. But, this new candidate in the political arena is a pastor who isn’t just preaching to the choir. Like me, he is familiar with the streets and regular folks trust his tough love style in the pulpit. Does that translate to the political arena? If it does, we should watch out because like Oprah and T.D. Jakes, the whole rural community has been waiting for some political leaders who can tell the people what they must do to improve their lives with secondary consideration for governmental involvement.
But, Pastor Terrell Carter has friends in the faith community from all over rural south Georgia. In other words, the approach he is using to reach the politically sleeping should serve as a model for U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In areas with no Dem state and congressional leadership, the local leaders are the foundations of party structure.
So, someone with the state Dem party should be helping Carter now since he has a message that might actually appeal to more southerners. I guess the GOP should be doing the same with the current mayor because he enjoys considerable support in my community. You know what, these two fellows are running clean races and the one who does not win has a bright future in politics on the next level. Come to think of it, I really couldn’t tell you which party either is in and that is a wonderful thing.