Next week, Republicans in a Dunwoody-area legislative district will choose their nominee for state representative.
The candidates are Tom Taylor, the incumbent who was busted driving drunk at three times the legal limit with a gun on his hip and four kids in the car, and Tom Owens, a challenger who has had more than a few run-ins with the law himself.
This sets up a moral quandary for Republicans. If you read the Dunwoody Crier, stories like this one support a common argument of late that, despite his misdeeds, voters must support Taylor because his opponent is unfit to serve.
Owens may very well be a poor choice, but that doesn’t change the fact that Taylor disqualified himself for office when he chose to endanger the lives of those around him. His crime is shocking and reprehensible, and we cannot give him a second chance until he has the time to recover and earn back the trust of Georgia citizens.
If you’re a Republican wrestling with this quandary, keep in mind that your party had an opportunity to do something about this. As we have seen several times this year alone, state parties have the ability to re-open qualifying prior to a primary should the incumbent drop out of the race. Tom Taylor decided to stay in the race, and the Georgia GOP let him.
Tom Taylor failed his constituents the first time by betraying their trust, and failed them a second time by forcing them into an impossible electoral situation.
It doesn’t matter who Tom Taylor is running against. He owed it to Georgia to remove himself from consideration weeks ago, and shame on him for not doing so.