Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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July 22

Daily Citizen-News on early voting for the Republican runoff for Georgia's 14th Congressional District seat:

You may have forgotten, or perhaps you were not aware, but early voting is underway for the Republican runoff for the 14th Congressional District seat, which includes 12 full or partial counties including all of Murray and Whitfield.

The two candidates vying for retiring U.S. Rep. Tom Graves’ (Ranger) District 14 seat are Rome neurosurgeon John Cowan and construction executive Marjorie Taylor Greene.

They emerged from a nine-person battle royal during the Presidential Preference Primary and General Primary on June 9.

Early voting is currently underway Monday through Friday until Aug. 7. Whitfield County voters can vote at the courthouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while Murray County residents can cast their ballots from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

There is no Saturday voting.

The actual runoff is Tuesday, Aug. 11, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Greene paced the field amassing 40.34% (43,892 votes) of the vote to Cowan’s 21.01% (22,862 votes). Since neither candidate garnered the 50% plus one threshold, they head to the runoff.

Greene led Whitfield County with 45.6% (5,454 votes) to Cowan’s 21.1% (2,528).

So the Republican candidates face off again. The winner takes on Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of early voting. Lines are usually shorter during early voting than on the actual voting day.

As our lives seem to become busier by the day it’s easy to forget to vote on Aug. 11, or have something come up that prevents us from having our voice heard.

So put on your mask, grab you bottle of hand sanitizer and head to the polls to vote early!

Online: https://www.dailycitizen.news

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July 21

Valdosta Daily Times on remembering the life and legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis:

John Lewis was the third of seven children, raised on a poor Alabama farm.

He often recounted seeing only a handful of white people as a small child. He wanted an education but found a segregated library in the nearby town of Troy, Ala. He discovered everything was segregated in Troy, throughout Alabama, throughout the South.

Young John Lewis wanted to change the world around him.

John Lewis did just that.

He spent a lifetime changing the world.

His death late last week at the age of 80 marked the passing of a congressman, a civil rights titan and a citizen who had the right to vote, the right to run for office, the right to be a fully involved member of American society.

As the Declaration of Independence promises, all people are born with these rights – all people are participants to that self-evident truth that they are indeed created equal.

John Lewis held America to that promise.

He advocated for it, standing with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington. On the same day that King gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, John Lewis was the youngest speaker at the same podium.

He demanded the promise be kept via the methods of non-violent protest, enduring curses, name-calling, violence, degradation, an arrest record, for seeking equal service at lunch counters.

John Lewis paid for the American promise with beatings and blood on the Freedom Rides and again on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

He paid for it with his freedom as he was arrested 45 times for simply insisting America keep its promise.

He became an elected member of Congress, representing Georgia, but even more, representing the promise that all people are created equal, that all people are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

He was an advocate for the promise through humble service, through humor, through persistence, strength, through moral clarity.

The loss of John Lewis leaves a gaping hole in the fabric of the nation but his life leaves an enduring legacy of hope that one day racism will be consigned to the history books and at long last the full measure of America’s promise will be kept.

Online: https://www.valdostadailytimes.com

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July 18

The Rome News-Tribune on a Georgia city's short-lived mask mandate:

Well, the City Commission approved an ordinance to mandate people wear masks in public in Rome ... and then Gov. Brian Kemp nixed it a couple days later.

To be fair, the governor wiped them out statewide, not just Rome’s.

No citations were issued during the brief life of that ordinance and we’re not sure how many, if any, warnings were issued.

Regardless of the outcome, our City Commission had their hearts in the right place, even if the outcome was — as Mayor Bill Collins put it — rendered null and void.

None of us want to see another statewide shut down. Many small businesses won’t survive it.

Personal responsibility is key. We need to listen to our health experts instead of social media falsehoods and conspiracy theories. COVID-19 is real and it’s spreading.

We’ve said this before but here it is again. Not everyone will be harmed by this virus; most people won’t — but so many will, and we need to protect our vulnerable populations by taking personal responsibility wearing masks, washing our hands and keeping socially distant.

These are very easy recommendations to follow, they could save a few lives and they’re also supported by our governor.

Online: https://www.northwestgeorgianews.com