Whitlock: Last voted Democratic in ’84; since then it’s been all Republican

Tue, 07/29/2008 - 3:21pm
By: Letters to the ...

It has come to my attention that someone perhaps thought that my response to a forum question was, “I have never voted in a Democratic Primary.” I would like to take this opportunity to clear up that question and at the same time explain why I think I am the true Republican candidate for Fayette County Probate Judge.

I first moved to Fayette County in late 1975, or early 1976 (best guess). Fayetteville was a small, small, town in those days. Someone suggested to me that I should run for city councilman. I thought that would be good experience, so I did, as a Democrat.

Everybody here was a Democrat in those days. I lost by a handful of votes. Looking back, I’m glad. I know nothing about being a city councilman, even today.

In 1980, James A. White and I signed up to run for small claims court judge. Judge White was a more experienced politician than I, and he was the incumbent. We were both Democrats; so was most everyone else in the county. I lost that race as well. I’m sure I voted in the Democratic Primary for myself.

In 1984, I ran a countywide race for magistrate court judge. I signed up as a Democrat, as I had before. William L. Hardwick signed up a Republican. My view of the event went this way. Hardwick drank coffee with the boys and shot the bull. I, on the other hand worked myself to death. Hardwick won that race, as if I wasn’t even in it. That’s when I stopped and did some detailed soul-searching.

In 1984, I knew that I had run a good race; I talked to what seemed like everyone in the county. I put signs all over the place. I was told by numbers of people that my opponent campaigned hardly at all. Why was I so out of step with the average Fayette County voter? I looked for the answer.

I researched the Democratic philosophy. I researched the Republican philosophy. I examined my own views. What I discovered was that I was not a Democrat, and neither were most of the Fayette County citizens.

Since my epiphany in 1984, when I discovered that the Republican Party believed basically the same as I did, and that the Democratic Party had moved far and away from my beliefs, I have been a Republican.

In that 1984 race, I had called myself a Democrat, when in actuality, I was a Republican. Since then, and until today, I’m a Republican. I believe in conservative values, God and country. I believe in America. I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to be a Republican.

When I was asked at the GOP Forum July 10 at the Fayette County Library, “Who are you going to vote for in November, and have you voted in a Democratic Primary since 2000?” I did not repeat the question, nor did I put the question in my answer. I stood and said simply, “John McCain, and no, I haven’t voted in a Democratic Primary.”

I am going to vote for John McCain in November, and I haven’t voted in a Democratic Primary since the year 2000. Had I stated it that way, maybe it would have been easier to understand.

From 1984 until the 2008 political races, I have voted Republican, but I have not chosen to run for office. I joined the Fayette Republican Party approximately three years ago and became active in the party, serving as precinct chairman, and participating in the 2006 get-out-the-vote phone calling.

When Judge Martha Stephenson announced her plans to retire at the end of 2008, I decided to run for the office of judge of the Fayette County Probate Court.

I realize there are a lot of good people who vote in Fayette County who are Democrats; many are friends of mine. Although I am not a Democrat, I would appreciate your vote. Everyone is entitled to his or her political philosophy. But, this particular race is a partisan race, and there are no Democrats or Independents on the ticket.

While I would appreciate everyone’s vote on Aug. 5, I’m a Republican. My opponent, at the same GOP Forum, said she was neither a Republican nor a Democrat. There is room on the ballot for an independent candidate, but she is on the Republican ballot with me.

You may have a reason not to vote for me, but it’s not because I’m undecided about my political persuasion. I voted Republican before this race, for this race, and I will vote Republican after this race. I believe, that I am the true Republican candidate for judge of the Fayette County Probate Court. Thank you for your understanding, trust and your vote.

Jim Whitlock

Candidate for Fayette County probate judge

Fayetteville, Ga.

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