Long-time state Rep. Kathy Ashe of Atlanta, a former Republican-turned-Democrat, has told supporters that, as a result of the “current polarized political situation” in the Legislature, she has decided not to seek an 11th term.
What’s odd about Ashe’s decision is that she wasn’t one of those several Atlanta Democrats who were paired by Republicans during last year’s redistricting session. She switched parties in 2001 – just before Democratic control of the state Capitol crumbled, citing the drift of the GOP to “shrill…far right politics.”
Read Ashe’s entire letter to constituents here. A few paragraphs:
While I am confident that I would win with hard work and the backing you and other supporters have generously provided over the years, I want to spend my time and resources more productively than the current polarized political situation permits.
As a “raging moderate,” I am caught between the far right and the far left. The computerized reapportionment process has across the country drawn districts that force primaries to the extremes. There are very few districts where moderation and consensus prevail. In the Georgia General Assembly, as in Congress, moderation is endangered and often scorned or marginalized. I regret that I do not see change coming soon.
Although Georgia has not yet sunk as far as it might, I join with the sentiments of Senator Olympia Snow as she announced that she would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate….
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider