Updated at 1:50 p.m. with statement from Paulding County candidate Daniel Stout:
Voters in Paulding County today could choose a replacement lawmaker for Glenn Richardson, the former House speaker – who resigned his district seat earlier this year after his ex-wife confirmed that he’d had an affair with a lobbyist.
Tom Crawford of Capitol Impact notes that something must be in the water:
Ironically, the issue of extra-marital [involvement] has also been raised in the special election where three candidates are competing to win Richardson’s old House seat.
Daniel Stout, a 29-year-old banker from Dallas, has been compelled to address a personal incident from 10 years ago: he had an affair with his first wife’s mother while his first wife was pregnant with their daughter. Stout and his first wife subsequently divorced.
Stout confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with Crawford.
“It’s not something that’s a beautiful thing with me,” he said. “I hurt some people.”
Also on today’s ballot are Ronny Sibley, 52, of Hiram, and Jody Cash, 42.
This afternoon, Stout sent the following e-mail on the topic:
Kelly and I wanted to respond together to a question about a painful past event that someone has recently raised during this election.
Ten years ago I committed adultery that led to a divorce from my first wife. While the relationship was stopped short of “sex”, I recognize my mistake as adulterous and unfaithful nonetheless. I own the reality of the pain I caused to my first wife, my daughter and others. This humbling experience changed my life dramatically.
I have asked for and received forgiveness from my first wife, my daughter, my family, my friends, my church, my community and, most importantly, God.
I met my current wife, Kelly, four years later. We were completely open with one another, and we discussed all this as soon as we began dating. We got married in 2005, and God’s loving forgiveness for us has been a constant theme of our relationship. The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful marriage, and through God’s strength we remain faithful to one another.
Of course, we knew when I announced for the House seat that belongs to the people of Paulding County that this and all matters of our lives would be open to the public. We believe in total transparency, even in matters of past sins anyone would rather forget.
We will always be open with our lives, and we invite you to call us at our home if you would like to talk to either of us: 770-655-7750.
Daniel and Kelly Stout
Sometimes you just need a mulligan. This from the Augusta Chronicle:
State Sen. Hardie Davis has introduced a bill that would transfer the 17-acre riverfront property controlled by the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, as well as the six bronze golfer statues locked up in a maintenance building there, to the city government….
The state currently has $2.8 million in bonded indebtedness tied up in the property, which won’t be paid off for another six years, something the bill doesn’t address. If it passes in its current form, the state would continue making payments on the debt while the city took over the property.
Today’s Marietta Daily Journal has a two-paragraph statement from state Sen. John Wiles (R-Kennesaw), defending his actions last December after cops put a halt to a teen drinking party at the home of a law partner:
“I was not present when the alleged underaged drinking took place; I was called there after the fact. I did not attempt in any way to use my position as a state legislator to influence the police at the scene. I was there as a father picking up his son, and as an attorney who had a co-worker facing a difficult situation.
“I did not identify myself as a state senator; another adult did that. I also did not request any special treatment for my son, who was treated the same as every other child there. At the request of the police, I stayed to help contact parents of the other youths involved, and helped make sure that they all got home safely,” Wiles stated.
“As any parent or friend will understand, the circumstances of that evening placed me in a difficult situation. During my brief appearance at the house to pick up my son, I did my best to fulfill my obligations as a parent, friend, and attorney. This was an unfortunate situation, but I am confident that anyone – particularly those who are parents – will understand and appreciate the way I conducted myself that evening,” Wiles stated.
Wiles’ son was not among those charged.
In the last quarterly issue of Foreign Policy – I’ll give you a second to thumb through your own copy — the author Walter Russell Mead issued this warning about President Barack Obama:
[T]he conflicting impulses influencing how this young leader thinks about the world threaten to tear his presidency apart — and, in the worst scenario, turn him into a new Jimmy Carter.
The comparison upset the fellow who operates that presidential library near Manual’s Tavern. Jimmy Carter penned a 1,500-word reply that appears in this quarter’s issue of Foreign Policy. The response includes this:
I resent Mead’s use of such phrases as “in the worst scenario, turn him [Obama] into a new Jimmy Carter,” “weakness and indecision,” and “incoherence and reversals” to describe my service.
An especially aggravating error is his claiming, “by the end of his tenure he was supporting the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, increasing the defense budget, and laying the groundwork for an expanded U.S. presence in the Middle East.” None of these were late decisions based on a tardy realization of my earlier errors and misjudgments.
Except for obviously unpredictable developments like the fall of the shah, Iraq’s invasion of Iran, and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, all the actions described below were planned and announced even before I took the oath of office. These included energetic moves regarding China, the Middle East, Panama, nuclear arms control, defense budgets, Rhodesia, and human rights.
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