If the Republican Secretary of State hopefuls defeat John Barrow, there will be no heavyweight title fights in Georgia.
One of the may facets of the SoS office, and unfortunately the most forgotten one, is that s/he is the boxing commissioner for the state of Georgia. Georgian boxing aficionados were intrigued by the Chris Christie v. NCAA decision which ruled that there can be no federal ban on state legislatures permitting gambling. Putting two and two together, that theoretically means big-time boxing could come to a new, boxing-friendly state.
With that in mind I posed the following questions to both David Belle Isle and Brad Raffensperger (I will get John Barrow’s stance when I can find a good contact): “In light of the SCOTUS decision in Christie vs NCAA that essentially opens up sports betting nationwide, does [he] want to encourage high-level boxing to come to Georgia? Will he advocate for the legislature to pass laws that would make Georgia more attractive as a boxing state–specifically related to gambling?”
David Belle Isle:
I am a big believer in leading and growing environments so as to create better opportunities and jobs. It’s the kind of leadership that has helped me as Mayor lead Alpharetta to over 640 technology companies and over 100,000 jobs. That being said, I do not believe in creating jobs at any price. Gambling, whether through casinos, boxing, or horse racing, is an economic cancer. It feeds on the lives of fathers, mothers, and the desperate. It would also serve as an accelerant in the raging fire of Atlanta’s sex trafficking problems. It would certainly create some economic winners, but overall, Georgia and Georgia’s families would lose.
I do not support gambling in Georgia because the societal effects have been negative in many other states. As to boxing, the free market is the best judge.