First, what do you call a last ditch effort to smear your opponent by pulling out all the stops and then still failing? We now call that a “Passante” at Peach Pundit.
Second, it was one heck of a race for Superior Court in the Macon Judicial Circuit. This race was just another classic example of why being first going into a runoff is both good and bad. It is good because you can pick up lots of votes headed into early voting. We did two things very well there — we went up with advertising and newspaper announcements throughout early voting and we relied heavily on the Stoneridge Group to send targeted mail to voters who had a high likelihood of voting in the runoff.
But, in the end, it was a 52% to 48% vote. Why? Well, the opposition had nothing to lose, everything to gain, and a more ascertainable group of voters to go back to the polls. We were playing defense. And when you go into a runoff with a 17.2% lead, the majority of voters think you have it in the bag and they don’t go back and vote. Meanwhile, the opposition does all he can to turn out his base again.
At the end of the day, however, in Macon, this was the second lost dealt to the Vineville Methodist community or, as one person called it, the “Methodist Mafia.”
In Macon, church communities are key constituencies and the Methodist churches in town have controlled the bench. But, all of the Methodist judges, with few exceptions, were appointed.
The “Methodist Mafia” could not stand up to the voice of the people, which delivered another crushing blow — the first being Stebin Horne’s defeat to Allen Peake. This race was much closer, but victory was still as sweet.
When all is said and done, people are going to wonder how a Reagan appointed U.S. Attorney with 35 years of experience lost to a guy who hasn’t been practicing for a full decade. The answer to the question is simple — personality. I have never worked with a finer candidate than Tripp Self. And he’ll make an outstanding judge.
And now, the other side should just count itself fortunate that the new judge has never been known to hold a grudge. The opposing candidate, Ed Ennis, himself ran as quite a gentleman. But just as he had a few choice words to say toward Tripp’s supporters, none of Tripp’s supporters came as unglued as Ed’s.