Augusta will soon have yet another opportunity to carve out a better future for itself -- with the Jan. 5 special election of Hardie Davis Jr. to the state Senate.
In just three years as a state representative from District 122, Hardie Davis has distinguished himself as one of the most liked and respected members of the Augusta area's legislative delegation. Davis will no doubt be even more effective as a bigger fish in the smaller pond of the state Senate, which has fewer members (56) than the House (180).
There are four candidates vying in this special election to replace District 22 state Sen. Ed Tarver, who resigned last month to become U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. And Hardie Davis is hands-down the best candidate.
A Georgia native and Hephzibah High and Georgia Tech graduate and a church pastor, Davis is erudite yet earthy, and is able to cross every conceivable line to connect with people. He has shown that in his House experience by appealing to House and Senate members, Republicans and Democrats, blacks and whites alike.
That's the new political trend in Augusta these days, and thank heaven for that. We need to keep it going by electing Hardie Davis.
Davis is one elected representative who has a rare feel for people -- helped along by the fact that he sees and hears every sort of human problem, challenge and ambition as senior pastor of the nondenominational Abundant Life Worship Center in Augusta.
He also doesn't give in to the type of demagoguery that demonizes business. Indeed, in the face of criticism by pandering critics, Davis holds firm to the Economics 101 principle that lower taxes help create jobs. And when Georgia Power found a way to lower the costs of new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle by accelerating payments on them, Davis wisely voted to approve the innovative move. It will save everyone -- ratepayers principally -- millions in interest payments: $300 million, to be more precise.
Anyone who opposes that is demagoguing.
Davis is a huge proponent of vocational/technical education -- not just in high schools, where he thinks such a charter or magnet school is warranted in Richmond County, but even in middle schools, where classes could appeal to non-college-bound students and keep them invigorated in school.
By experience, temperament, training and his worldly views on economics and education, Hardie Davis Jr. is by far the best candidate for the District 22 state Senate seat. We sincerely hope voters in District 22 will make a special point of voting in this special election for a very special guy.
Most importantly, it will replace the popular Ed Tarver with a successor who will keep the Augusta area's crucial political reform going full speed.