The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Voters need to educate themselves


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 02, 2019 - 5:46 PM

In regards to the recent story concerning Rep. David Stover’s residency, I was Mr. Stover's opponent in the 2018 election and while I had no proof of his lack of residency in the district, there were rumors of his not living there, and there was also a lawsuit brought by one of his constituents before the primary.

However, during my campaign, I did emphasize his poor voting and attendance records and pointed out his refusal to attend debates and candidate forums and his refusal to respond to questionnaires sent by voting information sites such as voteusa.org and votesmart.org.

In fact, his record was one of the main reasons that I decided to run because the people deserve a candidate who is willing to listen to their concerns. Unfortunately, it seems the only qualification that concerns many voters is the letter that appears after the name on the ballot.

I find it troubling that neither The Times-Herald nor 11Alive pressed Mr. Stover about his assertion that he would resign if the court ruling concerning his new wife’s children did not allow these children to come to the U.S. This court decision was not decided in his favor, but he backed away from his resignation statement.

Are we supposed to believe that she will leave her children behind in England to live in her mother-in-law’s basement without them? I realize that the state representative job is intended to be a part-time position and that Mr. Stover assured us he would participate in the 2019 legislative session, but how can he be cognizant of the needs of his district when he is 4,200 miles and five time zones away? Will he be able to attend emergency legislative sessions like the recent one he missed that provided disaster relief for South Georgia?

However, for those who feel Mr. Stover conned the voters, I leave you with this, which was posted on my campaign page: Your right to vote is the most important right that you have. It gives you the ability to help choose the policies and direction for your country, your state and most importantly, your local community.

I realize that many Georgians feel frustrated and believe that their vote is not important and that is easy to understand when you see that 149 of the 180 or 83 percent of the House seats were uncontested in the 2016 election. That rate of uncontested seats was the highest in the nation.

I have never before run for political office, and this fact was one of the reasons that I chose to run this year because the voters of Georgia deserve a choice on the ballot. But as a voter, it is your responsibility to make an informed decision. If you are familiar with your representative's views and agree with them, by all means vote for them. However, if you are like many of the citizens that I have met who don't know who their representative is or what their positions on the issues are, please take the time to educate yourself before you vote.

Tom Thomason

Newnan