06 November 2018

[MB McCart] - TPC REAL Politick: Clowns to the Left & Jokers to the Right - Stuck in the Middle With Spencer Arnhart, BOC 4 Candidate

Independent-minded 4th District Commissioner Candidate & Fix-it Man Shakes Off the Fringes While Building a Centrist, Non-partisan & Organic Grassroots Consensus 

Tomorrow is as big an election as we've seen in quite some time. At least two years! So many story lines & so much drama has been on display while a polarized national electorate anxiously awaits the results of 35 Senate races & the full monty of the 435 in the House.

The high stakes & intense dynamics are also being seen at the state level. The Georgia Governor's race has been nothing short of an epic battle between two diametrically opposed - in every, single way - candidates fighting for the future, heart & soul of that glorious lady, the Great State of Georgia. And there are a few more competitive races with some of the down-ballot state races as well.

Meanwhile, in Newton Co., not much going on at all. At the county level, there is precisely ONE contested race, and that is for the 4th District of the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

In one corner, you have the longtime incumbent, JC Henderson, the Democrat. In the other, it's political newcomer & Republican challenger, Spencer Arnhart. 

Spencer Arnhart, Republican Candidate for BOC 4

On paper, this campaign by Arnhart - the Chicago-bred Fix-It Man (this guy can do just about anyting: carpentry, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, you name it...) who spent 15 years on the West Coast - seems to be a Quixotic exercise in futility.

But not is all as it seems in this reality of ours, and there are some interesting things about BOC 4.

Firstly, after 20+ years, a number of the district's voters are simply tired of JC. Been there too long. Too many questions about too questionable things (forensic audit, anyone?). And I've heard from several folks over the years about this: JC won't answer a call, and he's likely not going to return a missed one.

Also, the voting demographics of this district are actually somewhat surprising. The general wisdom I had always heard is that BOC 4 had been tapped to be the dedicated "black" district of Newton, but if you actually peruse the numbers, it's not necessarily that way, or a least as it pertains to likely GOP voters vs likely Dems & true Independents.

In many ways, this has been a one-man campaign, though certainly Mr. Arnhart has had some key help from a few key people along the way, but he's the one for the last  2 months that has been out there hitting the streets of the 4th, knocking on upwards of a couple thousand doors, putting out dozens & dozens of yard signs, and - most importantly - talking with folks, the Citizenry of the 4th, either in person, on the phone or via text & email.

As one 4th resident told me a few weeks back - "there's a lot of voters publicly for JC who really like this guy [Arnhart] & are gonna vote for him." Including, the source later said, even at least a few folks who have JC Henderson signs in their yards.

Funny thing, though, a couple of months ago a quite strange - but totally predictable - thing happened. The Right & the Left (especially the fringes) both started to shun this candidate. The county GOP party completely abandoned him after a purported unholy alliance of a few Old Covington estab types & JC supporters began a whisper campaign that Arnhart was a "Never-Trumper." Of course, they took his qualifying money. No problems there!

At about that same time, allegedly, the Henderson campaign started going around to houses in black neighborhoods that had put up Arnhart's signs & removing those signs & putting up his own telling them, "He [Arnhart] with Trump, y'all! You can't support him!"

So, basically he came to be considered a "Never-Trumper/MAGA-Trumper" all rolled into one. Egad!

Through it all, though, Spencer Arnhart just kept his head down & kept his feet moving forward, to all those countless streets leading to all those aforementioned doors. At least a few times he had 1-hour+ conversations. Talking with folks. If they weren't there, he'd leave his push card & sometimes these people would call him back, and he'd talk to them.

Now, that's politics, friends...

This writer took the opportunity to accompany the candidate a couple of times the last few days. Since I was there & since I'm a supporter, I helped him a bit. It was fun. Yard signs. Canvassing. Took me back to the good old days.

Even with a strong ground game & a very solid GOTV push, Arnhart's campaign will likely come up short. There's been talk for months that 40% would be considered a win. Based on my totally informal & unscientific polling efforts, I think that's possible. In fact, I think he's going to surprise some folks.

I don't live in the 4th, but if I did - I'd sure as hell vote for him.

And so if you are in the 4th, take some friends & a few of your kin & cast your vote to "move Newton County forward together!"

As always, thanks for reading.

- MBM 


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