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Karen Handel vs. Roy Barnes: A win-win

Guest columnist Shelley Wynter wants both parties to pay attention to the African-American community

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Let's begin with a statement of fact: Sonny Perdue was a good governor for African-Americans. The two areas of most concern to the African-American community should be education and jobs.

Georgia's educational system ranked at the bottom or near it for the entire time of the Democratic-led Legislature. Under Sonny and the Republicans, we have moved up some — not enough — but we are not at the bottom anymore. As for jobs, Perdue was able to lure large multinational corporations to Georgia, which provided thousands of jobs for Georgians.

So with Perdue's job ending due to term limits, are African-Americans going to reflexively turn to Democrat Roy Barnes (as your paid leaders will want and encourage you to and who, admittedly, can do a good job for the African-American community)?

If they don't, then who is that moderate conservative on the Republican side who can finally provide the African-American community with a real choice? Karen Handel.

All African-Americans in the state of Georgia who are not tied to the black political power structure should run out and help Handel win her runoff against Nathan Deal. From a strategic standpoint (Sun Tzu would love this plan), African-Americans could then sit back and be courted by both parties and have the winning party deliver the goods. More importantly, the Democrats and their paid black flunkies would not be able to slander the other side — as they will attempt to — with accusations of racism and yadda, yadda, yadda. You know the drill.

Even more important, the Republicans will not be able to run against Barnes and win with Nathan Deal, a hard-right Republican candidate.

Obviously, Handel is more right-leaning and conservative than Barnes, who supports an Arizona-style immigration bill (as do I). Quick aside: We've been told that a bill of this sort will bring racial profiling — so why hasn't any "black leader" denounced Barnes for supporting this?

Now back to the strategic plan to ensure having a real choice for governor in the fall. If African-Americans can help place yard signs, make calls, drive voters on runoff day and do whatever they can to help, then a Handel victory is a victory for a real choice come November — not the "I voted for the lesser of two evils" choice many of you tell me you have traditionally been forced to make.

Some of you are saying now, "But what about Obama's health care and redistricting? Won't the Republican candidate sue the federals and redistrict out black districts?" Maybe so, on both counts. But this strategy I'm proposing does not purport that you should vote for Handel in November. This is a strategy that forces both sides to pay attention to you, the black voter.

To attain the things the black community needs (educational choices, job growth and crime reduction), being demonically tied to one party is not the answer. (See the last 40 years.) The answer is to have two real choices, and in the governor's race, Karen Handel vs. Roy Barnes is a win-win that forces both parties to pay attention to your local needs. Help Handel in the runoff, then sit back and enjoy the courtship.

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