Like many of his loyal GOP brethren, Charlie was stung by the Herald’s endorsement of his opponent in yesterday’s paper. This short column is intended to take a little of that sting out of the paper’s decision.
Lee County citizens could easily discern from the Herald’s comments that the paper wasn’t really satisfied with his opponent. They had but two things to ‘hang’ on Charlie as detractors- (1) his lack of detail on what specifically he planned do to cut wasteful spending, and (2) his age; hardly cause for alarm. In the same column, his opponent was tagged for several deficiencies, some of which were heinous failures in her role as a commissioner.
This perplexes the reader. If Dalrymple was such an incompetent commissioner, why re-elect her? Does the Herald think she will get better with age? (Obviously they didn’t think age was an attribute in evaluating Charlie.)
No, most likely there were two reasons for Charlie not getting the Herald’s ringing endorsement- neither of which was mentioned in the column.
First and foremost, there’s no way the Herald was going to endorse all three of the GOP candidates for commissioner. That would have wrought hue and cry from the chalk-fingered Dems as well as the ‘good ole boys’ from West Sanford. So, the question was, which of the three GOP candidates would they let down (gracefully)? Hard to leave Linda Shook off the list because she has been so entertaining and so visible as a watchdog for the electorate’s interests. No, can’t deny her an endorsement.
Then there’s Jim Womack, West Point graduate, young(er), passionate. Like Charlie, he’s well-respected across the Evangelical Christian community. Also a transplant, he’s an avowed enemy of the ‘good ole boy’s club’ of Lee County and his quips would be very entertaining at BOC meetings for the next four years. Plus, his opponent in the District 4 race – Butch Johnson – is a boob. Butch is a nice boob, but still a boob. (Heck, he’s the kind of guy Barack Obama might sit and drink a beer with.) Hard to say ‘no’ to Jim as well.
So that leaves Charlie as the odd man out. Is that a black mark? Heck no! Did the Herald soften the blow with a less-than-lukewarm endorsement of Dalrymple? Heck yeah! If you re-read the op. ed. a few times, it actually reads like Charlie is the better candidate.
Moreover, if you consider the Herald’s readership you will surmise the folks who read the editorial page and obits are much older people who would not think Charlie’s age to be anything of concern. As proof of that, simply take a look at the daily summaries from early voting in District 2. If you look at party affiliation as a measure of voter turnout success, Charlie is running WAY ahead of Amy, and the median age of those early voters is above 60 at present. So much for age being a concern on the voters’ minds.
What the Herald’s editors didn’t say in so many words, but wish they could, is that Charlie is really the best candidate for District 2 if you consider the full spectrum of qualifications and the required intellect. The Herald just couldn’t bring itself to say that and risk offending a nice lady and wife of an influential farmer from the Broadway area. Plus, they could always rationalize her as being that someone on the board who understands agriculture.
Charlie- you keep doing what you’re doing and don’t sweat the absence of a Herald endorsement. The voters in District 2 know you are better qualified for the position of county commissioner. Their votes will say it all.
Publius et. al.