Aaron Barlow, Republican primary challenger in Senate District 21, doesn’t like Senator Brandon Beach’s (R-SD-21) MARTA bill that affects Fulton and DeKalb Counties, but he has decided to take his fight against the Beach’s bill to Republican voters in Cherokee County and is apparently sending out mailers to Republican voters in Cherokee County against Senator Beach and his SB 330.
Yep, Cherokee County. SB 330 is discussing MARTA expansion primarily in north Fulton County and east DeKalb, but why not appeal to the TEA Party-rich, very conservative area of the district to hammer your opponent of proposing a way to fund public transportation expansion to a region that is expected to grow substantially?
I live in north Georgia outside of the metro Atlanta area, but with the metro region growing as we expect and want it to, transportation solutions will have to be put on the table. Building new roads and expanding existing ones won’t single-handedly solve the transportation needs of those who are living and looking to relocate here. A good transportation infrastructure (including a robust public transportation system) will be important to enticing companies to relocate to Georgia as well as a Millennial population that is coming of age. Not to mention, the Atlanta Business Chronicle listed a report by INTRIX, a transportation analytics company, saying that Atlanta is in the top 10 as one of the worst traffic cities in America.
Atlanta and the surrounding metro area is underserved by public transportation. Georgians shouldn’t look at the city and its surrounding cities in the metro area as lesser than New York, Chicago, or Houston. Atlanta is a world-class city. We’ve said this time and time again here (well, Charlie has), but we send our legislators to make tough decisions on behalf of their constituents. Senator Beach is making a tough decision in favor of looking towards the future growth of not just his district but of Georgia.
SB 330, which gives voters in Fulton and DeKalb the option to levy a half-percent sales tax on themselves to fund MARTA expansion at the ballot, may not be palatable to those who frequent TEA Party meetings, but I’m sure discussing and openly debating ideas and solutions to fund different modes of transportation in our state will earn a lot of Republican legislators the title of #LiberalModerateRINOEstablishmentSquish. Will this bill that won’t really affect Cherokee County all that much be the center of attention for Republican voters in Cherokee?
Let’s just say it’s an odd election year. Nothing should be surprising.