Speaker of the House David Ralston will have to defend his seat in the 2014 election. Thursday afternoon Gilmer High School wrestling coach Sam Snider announced that he is running for the 7th district seat. Snider is a proven winner. He has developed one of the top high school wrestling programs in the country. But when it comes to trying to unseat the Speaker of the House one wonders if Snider is out of his weight class on this one. Ralston holds the second most powerful job in the state of Georgia, Speaker of the House and his campaign war chest is enormous.
One of the biggest questions that will come up in the campaign will be: Does the 7th district want to lose the Speaker of the House? In many political circles in the 7th district the question always comes up, what’s Ralston done for this district? Others have asked what good is it to have the Speaker of the House as our representative. One question Ralston will have to answer is why unemployment is higher in two of the counties in the 7th district than the state average. Georgia state unemployment rate as of July is 8.8% while Dawson is 7.4%, Gilmer 9.6% and Fannin 9.4%. The real unemployment rate in Gilmer County is estimated to be 16%.
Speaker Ralston released the following statement to FYN after learning of Snider’s challenge for the 7th District seat.
“I intend to seek re-election to the 7th House District serving all of the people of Fannin, Gilmer and Dawson counties. I am proud of my record of service and the accomplishments of this Republican Majority like cutting the size of state government, balancing the state budget, passing tax reform and leading a historic GOP majority in the Georgia House of Representatives. I will continue to build on these past successes as long as the citizens of the 7th House District choose to send me back to represent their interests in Atlanta.”
Snider is well known in the district but not for politics. We will soon see if he can answer the questions and concerns facing the voters in the 7th district. Snider told FYN he was not running for Speaker of the House; he was running to represent the people of the 7th. District of Georgia.
Politics is a little like wrestling but one thing is for sure this will definitely be a “David and Goliath” match.