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How do you like them apples?

The best of the bunch on the 2004 ballot

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This is the election year everybody got really pissed off. As emotional as we've all been over the past few months, there's a better motive for casting a ballot than pure rage. We prefer to think of our upcoming gathering before the Diebold machines in Georgia's voting booths as a search for competence and integrity.

That's why careful voters should consider candidates from all parties. We vetted endorsing third-party candidates, but a third-party choice must be so much better than the major-party options that it's worth making the statement, and no candidate running in '04 year fits that description.

Some of our endorsements may surprise readers. We're particularly impressed by Republican candidates Jeffrey Brickman (for DeKalb County district attorney), and Bobby Baker (for Public Service Commission). Both men are superlative incumbents who face strong challenges. And we endorsed a conservative northeast Georgia congressional incumbent, Charlie Norwood, despite his health problems, because he's one of the few Republicans in Congress who has the guts to vote his own conscience.

By similar reasoning, we enthusiastically back Democrat Denise Majette over Republican Johnny Isakson for U.S. Senate. While Majette thinks independently, the once-moderate Isakson has bowed cravenly before the corrupt and extreme leadership of the U.S. House. He's likely to do the same in the Senate.

One of the many tragedies of George W. Bush's administration is the bitter division that has swept the country under his stewardship. He isn't the "uniter" he promised to be. He may be the most divisive president in American history.

Not all of us have to buy into that destructive style. We view the election as a chance to choose leaders who are reasonable, competent people we can trust. That's not too much to ask of a public servant.

More about the election
Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Tues., Nov. 2. Voters also may cast their ballots Oct. 25-29 at their county Board of Registrars office during normal business hours. For more information -- including polling place locators -- go to www.sos.state.ga.us/elections.



Who to blame for these endorsements
Editorial staff members Ken Edelstein, Steve Fennessy, Scott Henry, Doug Monroe, Mara Shalhoup and Michael Wall interviewed candidates, and researched and wrote the endorsements.

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