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FARNER: Local, national politics provides loads of entertainment

Keith Farner

Keith Farner

Every year about this time everyone is excited for new beginnings.

There's the fall television lineup where we pick up on shows we haven't seen since the two-hour cliffhanger in May.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the new season of "Scandal", the ABC drama by Shonda Rhimes -- the creator of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" -- that became a hit last spring. Of course the big question for season two is, who is Quinn Perkins?

As a big sports fan, it's easy for me to argue that sports is the best reality show going. Especially getting into baseball pennant races and the start of football season, there isn't a more edge-of-your-seat thrill than a chilly fall night with the game on the line in the late innings or fourth quarter.

But last week we were reminded that politicians and political races provide some of the best entertainment around. Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's ridiculous comments about "legitimate rape" caused a flurry of opinions from national talk radio hosts and well-known politicians. It often amazes me, even in the news business, how long something like that stays in the headlines. While this is a fresh example of a political gaffe, it seems they're becoming more and more common. But the entertaining aspect is how they respond to an unfortunate remark, and how their opponent reacts to it.

Which brings me to a couple of local sherriff's races, in Madison County and Clayton County.

In Madison, Kip Thomas knocked off Clayton Lowe for the second time in four years, but Thomas' 2008 win came after Lowe had served three terms. What made this race interesting is Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry endorsed Lowe in part because of his previous dealings with Thomas. After learning that, Thomas fired back, "He needs to worry about Oconee County."

If that wasn't enough, a Hull convienance store owner filed a civil rights complaint against Lowe that said Lowe threatened to shut down the store, if elected.

That takes us to the doozy of them all, Clayton County, which elected a man to be its sheriff, Victor Hill, despite 37 pending felony charges against him. What's more, the state has suspended Hill's law enforcement certification. Hill, for the record, has said the charges were brought by his opponent, the incumbent Kem Kimbrough.

That situation created the need to look into rules and laws where the governor gets involved, and the possibility of a special election. Of course, Gov. Nathan Deal would prefer the justice system work faster than Usain Bolt, but let's be honest, how often does that happen?

If you're like me and you enjoy rubbernecking stories like this, rest assured this situation probably won't be resolved soon. There could be everything from a special committee appointed, to a special election that could resuscitate the Kimbrough campaign.

What's amazing about all this is most of these antics came in July and August. There's still the time political observers call "silly season" as campaigns ramp up for Nov. 6.

Keith Farner covers Suwanee for the Daily Post. Reach him at keith.farner@gwinnettdailypost.com.