CL's 2014 Election Guide

Drop Deal, vote for Val, and boost Bozarth

Four years ago, Democrats crossed their fingers and hoped that former Gov. Roy Barnes would come riding to the rescue and reverse a near - decade of Gov.Sonny Perdue' s dismantling of public education, inattention to transportation, and tolerance for demagoguery by state GOP lawmakers. Barnes could beat Nathan Deal, a largely overlooked longtime congressman who was fleeing Washington, D.C., with few accomplishments.Alas, it wasn' t meant to be.Deal won without a runoff and Republican rule in Georgia continued.

It'd be one thing if Republican rule came with good schools, an efficient transportation network, and a stellar quality of life. But four years later, Georgia is saved from the bottom of the barrel only by the old mainstay, Mississippi. Despite the glowing reports put out by the governor's office touting this new cable TV ranking and that new plant relocation, things aren't too swell. The state has one of, if not *the* highest unemployment rate in the country. An estimated 400,000 people are without health insurance (even with the Affordable Care Act). Metro Atlanta - Georgia's economic engine - is basically quicksand for children born into poverty. According to Harvard University researchers, a child whose parents live on low incomes has almost the worst chance in the entire country of making it into the middle class.

So this election isn't just about pulling a lever for the blue team or the red team. It's about picking people who will actually propose policies that go further than just “cut waste” or “more jobs.” It will take a school superintendent who's not a crackpot advocating the elimination of educational standards and revision of history books to wax rhapsodic about the Founding Fathers. A U.S. senator who's not Mitt Romney lite. And a governor who actually appears engaged in the state's future without constantly having to explain away ethical scandals.

The candidates endorsed by Creative Loafing in the following pages aren't knights on white horses. And they can't solve every problem facing Georgia. But they do propose a path away from trickle-down policies that have hurt Georgia.

Learn about all the candidates. And then consider our picks, gleaned from interviews and research. Finally, go vote. If you're tired of the way things are, here's your chance to change them.

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[Admin link: CL's 2014 Election Guide]