November 25, 2022

Are the parties providing Georgians with the best and brightest political candidates?

Our nation’s early partisan battles led our nation’s first president, George Washington, in his farewell address in 1796, to issue a strong warning of the “harmful effects of party spirit.” Georgia First believes these effects are more evident than ever, given the quality of candidates put forward by both parties.

Political parties have a responsibility to present their best and brightest to offer, but at this stage parties often cannot even agree on what their best and brightest should be. Parties should also actively seek candidates who, if elected, are fully committed to working on behalf of everyone in their constituency, not just those who voted for them.

Candidates campaign for votes; the elect have the responsibility to lead and act for the greater good.

The hyperpartisanship of both parties, fostered over the past eight years, has created an atmosphere that rewards candidates who attract the most salacious or controversial media attention, but who cannot talk about concrete solutions and are unable to articulate their political positions.

Party leaders on both sides of the aisle can and must do better because voters deserve the best.

Voters deserve party candidates who live life authentically and with integrity; who take the time to listen and learn not only from their party but also from those of the opposing party; who reject an all-or-nothing political approach; and who are committed to working on more than just their opposition strategy.

Georgia First believes the Republican and Democratic parties can no longer expect voters to blindly support a party-only candidate when a candidate’s quality or an incumbent’s performance has not earned that vote. . We think voters are smarter than that and we think there are more people who share our views than either party cares to admit.

We also believe that many Georgians are tired of all the hyperpartisan rhetoric that only serves to delay progress, stifle innovation, and fail to deliver real solutions to hard-working Georgians.

The quality of candidates our political parties promote matters – it matters to the people of our state, it matters to Georgian business owners, and it matters to our children.

Natalie Crawford is a Georgian-born, lifelong Republican and former two-term Habersham County Commissioner. Crawford founded Georgia first in 2022, to advance economic opportunity and health outcomes for all Georgians while adhering to “old-school” Republican principles. Georgia First is a center-right 501(c)4, dedicated to building strong faith-based and community coalitions, limiting the overreach of government, promoting fiscal responsibility, and advancing individual freedom.