"Choose Hughes" Report
Brad has been so kind as to allow me to use his laptop to post my reflections on the campaign while traveling to our next destination. Here are my initial thoughts of what is going on.
Sunday night after church, my good friends James Risner, Sean Gould, and I caught a flight from Bowman Field to
We began the morning at Brad’s campaign headquarters making phone calls to potential voters in the 2nd Congressional District. During that time, Brad had an interview with a radio station in Columbus, GA. After meeting many of Brad’s team of volunteers, we loaded up and headed out on our first destination.
Our first rally took place in
One of the places Brad made a campaign stop was the small town of
The second rally was scheduled to take place later this afternoon in
Arriving back in Blakely, we hit the phones hard again for the next three hours. It was very entertaining talking to some of the good people of
The Perfect Storm
When Brad first mentioned to me last year that he wanted to run for U.S. Congress, I told him that he should go for it and that he had nothing to lose. Many people have underestimated Brad’s passion, commitment, and influence in his own home district. His opponent, Sanford Bishop, is a 14-year incumbent and has defeated the Republicans with considerable ease in years past. As a matter of fact, there has never been a Republican to ever win this particular House seat in the history of
However, I believe the perfect storm has come. First, Mr. Bishop has nothing on Brad to sling against him. And Brad’s weakness (being young and inexperienced) has become his strength. Second, the district has been redrawn, including several countries which Brad has a good shot at carrying. Third, Brad has successfully gone under the radar for most of the campaign, allowing his groundswell of influence to increase without the tremors being felt in D.C. Fourth, when Brad came out in public through open forums, his candidate failed to attend several of them which left Brad with the concerned public to himself. Finally, what it comes down to in an off-year election, turn-out is key. If Brad is within 5 percentage points of Bishop, I believe he will turn out a greater percentage of likely voters who are more motivated, informed, and committed to their vote counting. That said, the last providential thing we wanted to happen is to have a big rain storm come through. The inclement weather could turn the tide and sweep away nominal and uniformed voters who would rather stay at home than brave the storm to vote. Well, God has answered that prayer. Go here if you want to see what I mean.
One of the disappointing this I have seen thus far is the political shenanigans which infringe on the democratic process. In one county, people have said that Brad is not even on the ballot! In other ares of the district, all of Brad's signs have been pulled and discarded. I had a little time tonight to do a little research this particular election. For instance, I found out that Brad’s opponent, Sanford Bishop, has a legislation score of 0.00 and a rank of 268 out of 435 representatives – that after 14 years of service. During that length of time, Bishop has funded over $10 million to the 2nd district which has 18.3% of families below the poverty level (compared to the national average of 9.2%). Earlier tonight I heard of one kid whose family struggles so much financially that the only meal he gets is the breakfast and lunch his school provides. Those stats we hear really take on a whole new meaning when you are looking into the eyes of a person who comprise such stats.
Tomorrow, I suppose we will find out if it is time for a change. Regardless of what happens, I am glad to say that I know Brad Hughes. His courage to undertake such a daunting challenge, his compassion to embrace all the people of Georgia, and commitment to do what it takes to see change take place has been not only inspiring but also convicting. Ultimately, it is in the hands of the Lord, so with his glory as our aim, I pray that God will be pleased to accomplish His purpose whatever that may be, in the light of Brad and for the people of state of Georgia.
Note: I forgot to put this in the post, but in case you wanted to know the David/Goliah nature of this election, just consider the funding advantage of Brad's opponent. Bishop has been bragging that he has 22 times the money raise than Brad. Unfortunately for him, Brad is within the margin of error having spent only $18,000 compared to Bishops $547,000.