Dalton Mayor David Pennington says he will decide in the next 60 days whether he will challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in next year’s Republican primary.
Pennington says he has received support from across the state for a gubernatorial run from people who don’t believe Deal has done enough to shrink state government and grow the economy. But Pennington says he needs to make sure his support is deep enough to mount a credible challenge to an incumbent governor.
We hope Pennington decides he can be a credible candidate, and we hope he is not the only one to challenge Deal in the GOP primary. We also hope the Democratic primary fields several strong candidates for governor.
That isn’t because we have any particular dissatisfaction with Deal. Rather, we always like to see candidates challenged, and we particularly like to see incumbents forced to explain and defend their records. We hope that each race in both the 2014 general primary and the general election has a number of viable candidates.
Democracy isn’t served by uncontested elections. Voters deserve a choice in every race in every election. They deserve to have candidates who must truly work to earn their votes.
Candidates, particularly incumbents, can lose touch with the voters and become complacent, even arrogant, when they know they will not face serious competition during primaries and general elections.
And yes, we like it when candidates for statewide office talk about manufacturing, water and other issues important to Northwest Georgia. Given that Pennington hails from Dalton and Deal represented this area for many years in Congress, we expect a race between the two could really turn a spotlight on this area and its needs.
When Georgia voters go to the polls next year, we hope they have choices in every race on the ballot, starting at the very top.