To win an election in Georgia, a candidate must to get over 50% of the votes. If no candidate does that, a Runoff is held between the top two vote-getters. In close elections, that means a third party, like the Libertarian or the Green Party can play spoiler for the Republicans and Democrats. You remember Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, right?
Third party candidates can be effective at raising issues and putting additional pressure on an incumbent. The Libertarians running for PSC are not running to win. Even in 2012, when the Democrats didn’t field a candidate in the District 5 Race and the Libertarian, David Staples won the support of Sierra Club and other liberal-leaning groups, he got less than 35% of the vote.
This year, the Democrats have put up viable candidates who can beat the incumbent Republicans.
|District 3||Total Raised||Cash on Hand 9/30||PPP Poll (10/5-6)||Party Votes in May Primary|
|Chuck Eaton (R)||$273,921||$237,562||42%||471,261|
|Lindy Miller (D)||$1,030,723||$443,063||41%||477,571|
|Ryan Graham (L)||$7,736||$1,902|
|District 5||Total Raised||Cash on Hand 9/30||PPP Poll (10/5-6)||Party Votes in May Primary|
|Tricia Pridemore (R)||$307,800||$59,474||41%||528,079|
|Dawn Randolph (D)||$61,371||$48,556||40%||466,685|
|John Turpish (L)||$4,960||$878|
What’s so bad about a Runoff, you may ask? It means Chuck Eaton and Tricia Pridemore will be back on the PSC! The reason is that historically Democrats are way less likely to go back and vote again than Republicans. In fact, Chuck Eaton won his seat in 2006 in a run-off.
So while you may hate the idea of a two-party system, now is NOT the time to get bogged down in that. If you want a change at the Public Service Commission and you can’t bear to vote for a Democrat, just don’t check any box at all. That gives voters who CAN vote for a Democrat the opportunity to get them to 50%+1 and bring us the change we need. A vote for the Libertarians is a vote for a Runoff and since we know Democrats can’t win Runoffs, your vote against the system for Ryan Graham and John Turpish is basically a vote for another six years of Chuck Eaton and Tricia Pridemore.