Does the Bell Toll This Year for Judge Overstreet?
Does the Bell Toll This Year for Judge Overstreet? By Austin Rhodes January 5, 2012 Despite the fact that he bravely gunned down an intruder who broke into his home, Augusta Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Carlisle Overstreet is still carrying more liberal baggage than a Kennedy on summer retreat. As strong as he was protecting himself and his own home on that hot August night in 2010, he has been that weak in handling numerous high-profile cases, particularly those involving bad asses who like to shoot at, and fight with, cops in the street. Simply put, the man is despised by police officers and “law and order” advocates in the area. Their disdain and disgust for Overstreet is a living, breathing thing. Facing re-election in 2012, will a challenger finally have the nads to step up and take on Judge “Buttercup By Day/Dirty Harry by Night”? In my Spirit column from June 2006, I made the following case concerning duly qualified, yet perceived “left wing” candidates against duly qualified “right wing” candidates for Superior Court judge in the three-county circuit: “By taking a look at the voting trends in the three counties, it is very easy to surmise that conservative Columbia County holds the key (and indeed the very victory itself) for any good candidate who is able to capture the affection of its overwhelming GOP population. “The proof can be found in the 2004 presidential returns and the way they break down: George W. Bush John Kerry Burke County 4,232 (50%) 4,213 (50%) Columbia County 35,549 (75%) 11,442 (24%) Richmond County 29,765 (43%) 39,268 (57%) Totals: 69,546 (56%) 54,923 (44%) “I have to admit that looking at the figures in black and white is a bit shocking (pleasantly so) to a conservative like me who has lived many years with the history of Democratic dominance in the area. WhileAugusta’s judgeships have long been non-partisan, it is a well-documentedfact that most of the judicial power structure (and certainly the old line Superior Court judges like Fleming, Albert Pickett, Bernard Mulherin, Carlisle Overstreet and Carl Brown) owe much of their support (and in fact some of their appointments) through the years to the local Democrat power structure. “But there is good news for the right wingers in the circuit: The power of the left ain’t what it used to be. The above numbers prove it. “I am 41 years old and I sometimes have trouble remembering the population that shaped those past local elections is shifting daily. Combine the ideological maturation with regional behavior trends (Columbia County regularly turns out big to vote, Richmond County does not), and you gotta love the chances of a real conservative doing well in any circuit-wide race. And that would be for Superior Court judge or District Attorney. “The above argument is Exhibit A in the Richmond County Dems’ plot to remove Columbia County from the circuit, leaving Augusta-Richmond County to wallow in its left-wing mud puddle for the rest of eternity. Good luck with that! It won’t happen as long as the GOP controls the state legislature. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you, how can any popular, conservative politician or candidate see this reality and not be ready to jump on it? After looking at the numbers, I am beginning to think I could run and win. (Wouldn’t that be a Hoot!)” For the record, the very next election saw longtime Democrat attorney Bill Williams lose a Superior Court judgeship race to Columbia County conservative David Roper. In the general election, in a four-man field, Williams got 22 percent of the Columbia County vote. In the runoff against Roper, man to man, Williams finished in Columbia County with the same exact 22 percent and Roper picked up all the rest, taking the county with 78 percent of the vote. If anything, my estimate was too conservative. His Columbia County advantage pushed Roper to a 64 percent landslide against the known, hand-picked candidate of the Democrat darling and once all powerful retiring judge whose seat was at stake, William Fleming. I state now and for the record once again, if a qualified attorney who is a true conservative decides to run against Judge Overstreet (and a few are considering it at this moment), he can be had like a floozy when the fleet comes in. The elections proved my theory square on in 2006, I hope to get another validation next November, and send Judge Overstreet into retirement with a collective boot to his butt. You Might Also Like:
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