With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.
The election process is similar to the World Cup competition with the exception that office-seekers don't run around in short pants and flop on the ground every time somebody touches them and the participating World Cup countries don't resort to robocalls to get us to support them.
Lee not only oversees our company's much-admired and oft-quoted political polling service, Round or Square Polls, where our motto is "you got the dough, we cook the numbers," he is also a certified pest control professional. There is not another polling service in the country that I am aware of with a certified pest control professional on staff. Lee modestly shrugs off the distinction and says a pest is a pest, whether they are eating the leaves off the collard greens in your garden or running negative ads. He has a point.
The race that most intrigues Lee is between Rep. Jack Kingston and former Reebok and Dollar General CEO David Perdue, seeking the Republican nomination to replace Georgia's retiring senior Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Kingston stresses his strong voting record in Congress while Perdue talks about being an alternative to "career politicians."
Lee says while all of that is interesting, no one seems to have picked up on the fact that Perdue resides on fashionable Sea Island, which is in Kingston's district. That makes him a constituent of the congressman.
Lee surmises that perhaps Kingston didn't help Perdue get his social security check on time or bungled an eagerly-anticipated tour of the White House and David Perdue decided to retaliate by running against Kingston since he doesn't have anything else to do.
Lee's not saying that actually happened, but it is something to consider. At round or square polls, we always go behind the numbers.
Then there is the whole Georgia Tech vs. Georgia thing. Perdue has two degrees from Tech. Mr. Kingston is a graduate of the University of Georgia, which Lee reminded me is the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South. I told him I knew that but that I would pass it along in case the rest of you might have forgotten.
Lee also points out that Perdue is a cousin of former Georgia Gov. George E. Perdue, who resides in fashionable Bonaire. I told him I knew that, too. I have written a number of columns about Gov. Perdue, including the time he gave an elephant a physical. Even when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California, he wouldn't have attempted such a feat and, as we know, people in California are goofy enough to try most anything.
I wondered if Lee had some thoughts on what the polling numbers indicate about Michelle Nunn, the Democratic challenger to the winner of the Kingston-Perdue race. Junior says Georgians know more about Gov. Perdue giving an elephant a physical than they do about Nunn. He believes that is because she hasn't taken a position on anything, unless you count her strong stand on warm apple pie. She is very much for that.
How about the congressional runoffs, I asked. Anything newsworthy? Not really, he said. One of the candidates in the first congressional district opined he would rather see another terrorist attack in this country than have to deal with the TSA, and a Baptist preacher in a runoff in the 10th district reported he had no problem with women running for political office "as long as they do so with the permission of their husbands."
I'm afraid that sometimes Lee lets the little political nuances zip right by him. Perhaps he has inhaled too much Malathion.
I wish I could give you more information regarding the July 22 runoff, but Lee said he had to run over to Arveen Ridley's place and spray for chinch bugs. He says if you aren't careful those little rascals can cause more damage than a self-important politician. I think we can all agree that when it comes to polls and pests, Lee knows his business.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.