Unfortunately, I'm writing a letter that's reminiscent of a letter I wrote in the last election cycle two years ago.
Recently, I was asked to pay close attention to candidate for Magistrate judge Phinia Aten's campaign signs. Since she has signs all over the county, it didn't take me long to find one and it took me even less time to see an obvious attempt to mislead voters.
Ms. Aten's campaign signs read; "Vote for Judge Phinia Aten Chief Magistrate." The problem, Ms. Aten is not a judge, as her signs would have the reader believe. By insinuating she is the incumbent, Ms. Aten's campaign is playing on the ignorance of voters.
This is reminiscent of Board of Commissioners candidate Courtney Dillard two years ago when he was caught wearing a name tag which read "Courtney Dillard, Rockdale County Commissioner, Rockdale Going Forward." Mr. Dillard wasn't and has never been a Rockdale County commissioner.
Since incumbents typically have a better chance at winning re-election, I believe these candidates are and were intentionally misleading voters in order to get votes in the election.
Now, as I did then, I think these misleading campaign tactics are disrespectful to the office the candidate is seeking, misleading to the voters, and unethical.
If someone seeking a judgeship is this disrespectful, misleading and unethical during the campaign, what kind of judge would they be if elected?
I hope the voters of Rockdale County research the candidates and vote for the most qualified, respectful, honest and ethical candidates. And I hope the voters prove to Ms. Aten that they're not as ignorant as she seemingly thinks they are.