Items from the political notebook as we move closer to this year’s primary:

•Jody Hice, Republican candidate for the vacant 10th congressional district race, has been campaigning hard in the Barrow County area for months.

With Barrow County and Walton County (Hice’s home base) being such a big part of the 25-county district population-wise, a victory in either of these counties would be crucial to getting in the almost certain runoff.

Hice, like most of his fellow GOP candidates, likes to push the fact he is a friend of the taxpayer. During a recent robo-call to homes in Winder and Barrow County, however, Hice may have shown that he is not as taxpayer friendly as he wants voters to believe. Several years ago Hice pushed for Barrow County officials to defend the placing of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse. While it was the decision of the commissioners at the time to fight the lawsuit, Hice played a big role in the battle.

It would have been perfectly fine if Hice wanted to use his own money to fund the defense, but it was wrong to use taxpayer funds in this incident. Those on the Barrow BOC at the time are equally, if not more so at fault, but Hice’s role in this incident should not be forgotten.

Despite the makeup of Barrow County which typically would support fighting a suit of this nature, numerous citizens spoke out against using taxpayer funds to battle it.

With every penny counting these days for anyone who works for a living, using taxpayer funds by force — for any reason — is a bad move, politically or otherwise.

•A member of the Walton County Board of Commissioners told me last week that Mike Collins, who is also running for the vacant 10th congressional district, has been at numerous functions in that county as the campaign continues to roll toward the May 20 primary.

Judging from the number of signs representing the Collins campaign in the area, it is clear that he, like Hice, knows how important it will be to win Barrow and the surrounding area.

Candidate Donna Sheldon’s campaign headquarters is also in Monroe so her name recognition in Walton at least will likely prove valuable to her campaign.

•The Ohio Republican Party has come up with a way which may keep the Libertarian Party off the statewide ballot this year.

Charles Earl is running as a Libertarian for governor in Ohio, but he was told by the Secretary of State that he was disqualified because those circulating petitions to place him on the ballot weren’t Libertarian Party members and/or failed to disclose themselves as paid party employees.

The Ohio Libertarian Party alleges that the petition circulator rules are selectively enforced by the Secretary of State’s office. The petition drive for Earl and other Libertarians was handled by a professional, who says he has never had the signatures he’s obtained challenged before.

Ohio Republican chairman Matt Borges initially admitted the state GOP was involved in the challenge only to backtrack and say he misspoke because he had been “under stress.”

This entire sequence of events is yet another example of how the two-headed political monster does not want voters to have more choices when they go to the polls. It was the Republican Party in this case, but Democrats are just as guilty around the country.

Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at cbridges@barrowjournal.com.

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