As women candidates across America emerged victorious in last night’s primary, political pundits weighed in early noting that the outcome demonstrated that voters were disenchanted with politics as usual. Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman won their respective nominations for Senate and Governor. Sharron Angle secured the Senate nomination in Nevada, and Nikki Haley heads into South Carolina's Gubernatorial runoff with a strong lead. They are all to be congratulated.
But what the candidates had in common was not simply gender. They are all outsiders who are not part of the good-old-boy establishment. Fiorina and Whitman bring extensive business experience, while Angle and Haley took on the career politicians, and delivered a serious blow to politics as usual in their states.
And, in Georgia, journalists and voters are already speculating on what this will mean in the Governor's race here. The Fayette County Examiner weighed in first, asking this morning, "Could all of this mean a heavier support of women in the State of Georgia as Karen Handel makes her bid as the first woman, Republican or Democrat, to become governor?"
Clearly, notice has been served on career politicians.
Karen's main opponents in this race have all been in office 15, 20 and even 25 years. They are part of the system that has allowed our most serious challenges to go unanswered.
Our transportation system in Georgia has deteriorated during that time. There have been no long term solutions to our water issues. There has been only marginal improvement in education. And government spending spiraled out of control until they were forced to make cuts in a crisis. Does anyone really believe that the guys who helped create this mess have any idea how to get us out of it?
The status quo has brought us corruption and complacency. While in public office, two candidates and their business partners pocketed nearly $1 million doing business with the state. Another has taken $120,000 in illegal campaign contributions from executives whose business he regulates. Do we really want to trust them to lead our state?
How about a bold reformer like Karen Handel? She is the only candidate to offer real ethics reform. She proposes a $25 gift limit for elected officials and making the state legislature subject to open records like the rest of state government. They should no longer be able to operate in secret. And, the big one that our opponents hate, we will cut off their gravy train of profiting off of our tax dollars. We must put in place strict conflict of interest laws for our elected officials.
2010 may be the "year of the woman" but it is definitely the "the year of the outsider." It is the year voters say "we have had enough" and we take back our government. Karen is the leader who will do that. Join her "Bring it on" campaign today.