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Picks for the U.S. Senate
editor's notes

I get more press releases than I know what to do with these days, but this is one that got my attention: “Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp encouraged all qualified Georgians who want to serve in the U.S. Senate to submit their applications online.

“To ensure an open and transparent appointment process, I am encouraging all Georgians who want to serve in the U.S. Senate to submit their name and qualifications,” said Governor Kemp. “We will carefully vet the applicants and choose a person who best reflects our values, our state, and our vision for the future. The Governor’s Office will release additional details at the appropriate time.”

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Gov. Kemp’s email follows the retirement of longtime U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is stepping down. His appointed successor will serve beginning in January and will continue until a special election is held in November 2020.

So, what the heck. I might as well throw a few people I know under the bus as possible replacements. In order to ensure I don’t somehow backhandedly endorse someone in or out of a seat in an upcoming election, none of the following are elected or appointed officials, and none are members of that honorable association of experts known as the Pembroke Mafia Football League. In either case, being a U.S. Senator would be a step sideways.

I’ll start with Dave Williams, longtime local volunteer, Gateway Behavioral Services representative and for my money all around good human. He might have to check with Deloris first, though.

As for why I think he’s qualified, Dave has military experience and he’s spent decades up in North Bryan working to make peoples’ lives better as both a volunteer - he was a United Way Volunteer of the Year a couple years ago - and in his day job with Gateway. He’s been a Boy Scout troop leader and he’s worked with the NAACP and on various boards, and remains as down to earth and nice a person as I’ve ever met. I’d like to see more of both qualities up in Washington, D.C.

Speaking of those working to make people’s lives better, I couldn’t think of a better person to send to the Senate than Wendy Sims. She’s head of Bryan County Family Connection and has spent years advocating on behalf of this county’s children and families.

Wendy, who has won the Bryan County News’ Bryan’s Faves Humanitarian of the Year award, has spearheaded more efforts to lighten the load and make life a little better for a diverse and growing population on both ends of our county than Carters has pills.

Nobody I know cares more about kids and adults, especially those who get the short of the stick, than Wendy Sims. There’s one caveat, though. Should she get picked, I think Wendy should take her rescue dog Minnie Pearl with her to lend the place some class.

There are folks in South Bryan who’d make good senators too. Eddie Warren, real estate tycoon and former Bryan County Board of Education chairman, is one such man. Don’t let Eddie’s laid back Alabama demeanor fool you. He’s a fiscal conservative to the nth degree and has long preached (to me anyway) that transparency and accountability to the taxpayer is paramount, and in that regard so is ensuring tax dollars are spent in classrooms and making sure teachers have what they need to do their job.

 And though the next man is the last candidate I’m mentioning - and I’m leaving some options out (Frank Grimm, Jody Laing, former Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis, and Bobby Carpenter, father of current Mayor Russ Carpenter, Sheila Galbreath) - the first person I actually thought of when I saw the press release from Gov. Kemp was none other than Roy Hubbard.

If you went to the public hearings some years back, or if you have anything to do with The Dolphin Project and Peach Hubbard, or if you were at a public hearing a decade or so ago to fight a proposed wastewater treatment plant over on the Liberty County Marsh, or if you just read this page from time to time, then you know Roy.

He’s no recently arrived self-proclaimed expert on how all things ought to be done, as are some from other climes who moved here and then found nothing but fault.

Nope. A Savannah native and former Green Beret, Roy grew up on this coast. Even better, he sounds like George C. Scott playing Patton and last time I checked looked a bit like Mussolini. Roy has long brash, opinionated, outspoken and tireless in his efforts to save this beautiful coast from those who are trying to love it to death and build houses and roads all over it. I’ve tried to talk him into running for county commissioner over the years, just because I think we need people who put the environment over profit in office to balance things out a bit.

 Anyway, there you have it.

Have a good weekend and drive careful

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