Last weekend, it was heralded as a “bomb shell” that would attract the national media — as if a City Commission election in Rome, Ga., has enough interest to raise an eyebrow, much less an iPad. That bomb apparently has been defused by the intended target.
On Wednesday, a week after his dramatic entry into the Nov. 5 City Commission elections via a press conference on the steps of City Hall, Charles Love has withdrawn from the Ward 1 race.
Love distributed a full-page statement on Wednesday announcing his withdrawal from the ballot. It deals with his legal problems and prison time in Tennessee, and his subsequent clearance to enter the race.
Says Love in this statement:
“… However, since offering my candidacy, a provision of the prior Article II of the State Constitution, with which I was not familiar, has been raised as an issue to bar my candidacy. In addition to the requirement that rights must have been restored, Article II requires that at least 10 years must have elapsed since completion of any sentence. That will occur within several months.
“Several highly respected attorneys have advised that valid legal arguments could be presented that I should be permitted to continue my campaign. My sole purpose is to serve my community, especially its children, in any way I can, and in no way contribute to strife and division because of this provision…. Therefore, I have withdrawn as a candidate for the Rome City Commission…”
He closed with a vow that he hopes to “have the opportunity to serve in an official capacity in the near future.”
So what does it all mean?
How the revised Nov. 5 elections shape up for the Rome City Commission:
- Ward 1: Incumbents Bill Irmscher, Milton Slack and Sundai Stevenson are seeking new terms. Challengers include Jim Bojo and Mark Cochran.
- Ward 3: Incumbents Bill Collins and Craig McDaniel are seeking new terms. Incumbent Evie McNiece did not qualify. Challengers include Bonny Askew, Jamie Palmer and J.J. Walker Seifert.
- The three candidates in each ward who finish with the most votes win the seats. There is no “runoff.”
- Any registered voter in the city of Rome. Registration for new or lapsed voters ends Oct .7. Check your status here; better yet, confirm in person at the elections office.
- Both the Ward 1 and Ward 3 races are “citywide” meaning you can vote for up to three candidates in each ward.
- What to watch for: ‘Bullet voting’ or ‘slingshot voting.’ That’s where people vote for just one candidate in a ward race even though they are eligible to vote for three. The idea is to “maximize” that chances of that preferred candidate. It has been used here before.
- Also on the ballot: The City Commission is expected to let the “brunch bill” go before voters (earlier drink sales on Sundays). The proposal is up for first reading this Monday at the City Commission meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.; second reading and final reading is Sept. 9. What it says
So what’s next:
- Oct. 7: Final day to register to vote in the municipal elections if you’re a new or lapsed voter.
- Oct. 14: Advance voting begins.
- Nov. 5. Election day.