Correspondent

Chris Bridges is a columnist and former sports editor for The Walton Tribune.

Chris Bridges Mug

Chris Bridges

By this point even the most die-hard follower of political campaigns has probably become fed up with the two U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia.

Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, while appointed Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler is trying to fend off the challenge of Democrat Raphael Warnock. Who among us has not become weary from the television and radio advertisements for all four candidates along with enough campaign mailers to create a nice bonfire?

In reality, the two runoffs are very important in terms of balance of power in our country. With the Democrats regaining the White House, the Republicans hope to maintain control of the U.S. Senate. If Ossoff and Warnock both win then the US Senate count goes to a 50-50 split with a Democratic vice president set to break the tie.

Many Republicans have cried that one party having complete control would be bad for our country. That is a true statement. However, Republicans didn’t seem to mind when they had control of the White House and the U.S. Senate the last four years. Surely no one can be surprised by this bit of hypocrisy that often comes from both of the major political parties.

The amount of money poured into these two U.S. Senate races boggles the mind. Millions upon millions have been spent with more monopoly-like cash to be used in the final days and hours before the Jan. 5 vote.

One long-time political observer in Georgia recently said, “Are these four the best we have to choose from? If so, help us all.”

These are definitely the four we have left. Even with 18 other candidates running against Loeffler and Warnock in a special “jungle primary,” these were the two who floated to the top. Loeffler, it has to be pointed out, has done nothing since being appointed to the position by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Loeffler’s biggest achievement seemingly has been to support everything President Trump does or says. It’s not unexpected that a U.S. Senator would support the president from their own party, but to give blanket approval shows a lack of ability to think for one’s self and a blind loyalty that is unwise and not needed.

If Loeffler defeats Warnock what will her legacy be moving forward? Will it be that she opposed everything President Biden does or says?

Recent polls actually show the two Democratic challengers leading but these races are going to be razor close. Don’t be surprised if the dreaded word “recount” comes into play once we wake up the morning of Jan. 6.

Perdue and Loeffler both have shown questionable behavior in using insider information for profit when it comes to the COVID-19 virus. While perhaps not technically illegal, it shows what they are willing to do for additional profit and that they have their own financial interests above those who are supposedly representing.

Warnock was the choice of state Democratic Party insiders. They wanted him as the nominee and went as far to encourage other Democrats in the jungle primary to exit the race. None did but Warnock did emerge as the overall top vote getter last November among 20 names representing all political leanings.

Republicans seem to enjoy painting Ossoff with a very negative brush even going as far to question the legitimacy of his marriage. You can’t make this stuff up folks.

Ossoff has run a solid campaign but whether it will be enough to defeat Perdue remains to be seen.

The question about the Jan. 5 runoff is who will show up to vote. Many supporters of President Trump are still furious over the outcome of that election going as far to throw Georgia’s Republican governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state under the bus.

Some Trump backers in Georgia say the Jan. 5 runoff will be rigged so why even both voting. That mindset is absurd. If you don’t want a particular candidate to win then not voting does nothing to help that goal.

Overlooked in Jan. 5 runoff is a very important contest for a spot on the Georgia Public Service Commission. The PSC is a group which most people couldn’t tell you what it does and certainly couldn’t tell you a member’s name.

Yet the PSC has as much impact on our wallet as any elected office. Your power bill and your phone bill are just two of the ways. Yet often current members or challengers accept contributions from those working for or closely tied to utility companies. Ironically. while not illegal, it certainly should raise concerns about whose best interest someone on the PSC would have when they accept these contributions.

And as we (hopefully) close the book on the 2020 election next week, it should be noted that presidential hopefuls for 2024 are already starting to emerge. Here we go again.

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