Based on the early voting numbers, around 10 percent of the people who will choose between Ben Cline and Jennifer Lewis in the Sixth District have already done so.
If you’ve already voted for Jennifer Lewis, the Democratic challenger, good on you.
It’s time that the Sixth District has a real person who has held a real job and has a real idea of what real life is like representing us in Congress.
For 26 years, we kept sending Bob Goodlatte, a career pol, to Washington, and got exactly nothing, not surprisingly, in return, and then when we had the chance in 2018 to right that historical wrong, we doubled down, and sent Cline, a Goodlatte acolyte.
Like his political idol, Cline sits quietly in whatever room on Capitol Hill he happens to be in, doing nothing of consequence, only occasionally saying anything to even let us know that he’s there, and when he does that, it’s to serve the interests of those who seem to think democracy should be a thing of the past.
Cline actually voted, hours after Trumpists overran the Capitol to try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, to decertify votes that had been cast – that is, he voted to take away the right to vote from millions of his fellow citizens.
For that alone, he should be called back home.
That Cline is, like Goodlatte, a career politician who makes a living claiming government is the enemy of the people shows how out of he is with the rest of us.
Cline would privatize the Postal Service, taking away a lifeline from many residents of the largely rural Sixth, and good foot soldier that he is, you know that he’s going to be on board with the House Republican plans to gut Social Security and Medicare.
If you rely on the mail, on Social Security, on Medicare, and you vote for Cline, you have no right to cry when Cline joins his party in taking them away from you.
When people tell you what they’re going to do, believe them, basically.
Jennifer Lewis, unlike Cline, isn’t a career politician. Lewis grew up on a small dairy farm, and knows enough about farms not to show up to one wearing loafers.
(Yes, that’s a shoot.)
Lewis has worked in education and mental health, as a rape victim and domestic violence counselor and mental health advocate, and her ears prick up when she hears Republicans try to deflect problems with gun violence on mental health, when they don’t support increasing the paltry amount of money that we as a society commit to mental health services.
One thing about Lewis that will forever set her apart from Cline: she makes herself visible in the community, and not just at campaign time, volunteering with New Directions, Valley Hope Counseling, the Waynesboro Cultural Commission, and the Arc of Augusta.
Lewis also runs a free pantry in Waynesboro and delivers fresh food in partnership with Augusta Health and AMI to seniors.
Cline only pops his head out for a few weeks every two years when it’s time for re-election.
And don’t @ me about how hard he’s working in Congress. The House is in session barely half the year, and D.C. is literally a couple of hours away.
If he wanted to be here and wanted to know what’s important to you, it’d be easy for him to be here.
Cline wants to follow in the footsteps of Goodlatte, who kept his focus on getting sent back to Washington, didn’t do a damn thing to make life better for people in the Sixth District out of fear of rocking the boat, then rode off into the sunset with a huge congressional pension as his golden parachute.
Congressional seats shouldn’t be retirement plans.
We need somebody in Washington who will put the Sixth District first.
The choice there is obvious: it’s Jennifer Lewis.