Oh Shelly, That’s not cool

In last night’s qualifying update, I noted that State Senator Shelly Echols had not yet qualified for reelection for the 49th Senate District. Apparently having Peach Pundit notice these types of things has an impact because we are told the local GOP in Hall County went into overdrive in the event that she did not qualify.

It turns out that she didn’t and won’t.

Before I go any further, I just want to say I do not really know Senator Echols. I could not say anything about her character or ideology. I do know that she was unfairly targeted and abused by Senator Colton Moore, which contributed (among other factors) to him being removed from the Senate Republican Caucus.

At roughly 10:55 AM this morning, barely more than an hour before qualifying closed, Drew Echols, Senator Shelly Echols’s husband, qualified for Senate District 49 instead of her. The ole switcharoo. Making a move like this is intended to allow the hand picked successor of a retiring incumbent to get the seat uncontested. It isn’t without precedent, and has happened a few times before. One of my friends called it, “shady.” I call it horseshit.

Not making any public statements about your intentions and then trying to pull this off at the last minute is, at best, deceptive. The intention is to hide what you are doing in hopes that no one notices and the new candidate waltzes into office without a challenger.

Peach Pundit has also learned that former State Rep Josh Clark rushed to the Gold Dome to qualify for the seat, and as of 11:57 AM he successfully did so. With the seat now open, Drew Echols will not have an (I) next to his name on the ballot, and SD 49 will be a contested primary among two non-incumbents.

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