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Guest Editorial

We Need To Keep
Jim Marshall In Washington

by Herbert Dennard

jim marshall

Rep. Jim Marshall - 8th District

Voters in the 8th Congressional District need to keep Congressman Jim Marshall in Washington. We know him. He was a good and fair Mayor. He has actively championed civil rights throughout his life. In fact, he co-chaired Ambassador Andrew Young's campaign for governor of Georgia. Jim Marshall supports legislation important to us, like the Voting Rights Act and improving education. He and his staff are very accessible and help thousands of ordinary people deal with the federal government. You don't have to be a big shot to talk with Marshall. He is comfortable with everyone.

Let's look at Marshall’s voting record for the votes that matter. Congressional Quarterly has been doing that continuously since 1953. Each year it publishes an analysis of Congressional votes on legislation important to the President, legislation that the President has supported in the House of Representatives. The 2010 analysis is not yet available. But according to Congressional Quarterly's 2009 analysis, John Lewis voted with President Obama 91% of the time, Jim Marshall voted with President Obama 75% of the time and Georgia's Republican Congressmen, on average, voted with President Obama only 13% of the time. Those are the voting percentages that show support for President Obama; those are the voting percentages that mean something to us. I'll take Jim Marshall at 75% over Republicans at 13% all day long.

Compare that to Jim Marshall's opponent, Republican Austin Scott. Scott would very rarely support President Obama. Representative Al Williams, former Chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, points out that it was Austin Scott who blocked the effort to make President Obama an honorary member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. Why would Scott deny black legislators the right to include President Obama as an honorary member in their own caucus? I think I know why. I think you know too. Austin Scott has campaigned in white neighborhoods saying that Jim Marshall is Obama's boy in Washington. This racial reference is very disrespectful to President Obama and explains an awful lot about Austin Scott. Congressman Marshall has not always voted on all the legislation that I would have liked him to vote for, however, we do not need to replace him with someone like Austin Scott. Jim Marshall is a fair and honest man.

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Mike Thurmond
Herbert Dennard