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COLUMN: Nasty judge’s race finally comes to end

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By BEN CARLSON

Column as I see ’em …
Between the flat-out lies that have been told and the cowards who have scurried around like disease-spreading rodents attempting to anonymously smear those they don’t like, this judge-executive election was among the nastiest I’ve ever seen.
The candidates don’t deserve the bulk of the blame for that. Their sycophantic minions — whether with the candidates’ blessings or not — are to blame, and often ran their yaps only when they could be assured no one could tell from whose mouth their garbage was spilling.
If nothing else, their efforts were largely unsuccessful, unless their goal was to drive votes away from their candidate of choice.
Not that Robert “Chip” Chambers was lacking for sycophants, but whether you approved of his campaign style or not, he earns kudos for being enough of a man to stand in front of a video camera and poke his opponents without hiding behind a wall of secrecy or a distasteful online message board.
Those who did that know who they are, and should be ashamed.
As of this writing, the outcome of the race had yet to be determined, but while we could always do better for any elected office, chances are we could have done much worse than to elect the eventual winner.
Regardless, I’m looking very much forward to covering the fiscal court with a new judge and a couple of new magistrates.
But rest assured that regardless the winner, I’ve compiled a cheat-sheet of the campaign promises each made, and intend to see how willing the winner is, now that he or she is in office, to stick to their guns.

Speaking of doing better, it’s good to see cars in the parking lot surrounding the old Bill Waits Auto Mall, even if they’re not for sale.
Hadawreck moved in recently, filling what I feared was not only a nasty void in our business district but a spot too tempting to governmental types who were eyeballing it for a public facility.
I wrote a few months back that several sources confirmed that the school officials were unofficially considering the location for a new bus garage. I heard also that it was being looked at as a new home for county government.
I still don’t doubt for a moment that either agency would consider doing so, given the non-chalant attitude that exists toward taking perfectly good commercial property and plopping down non-taxpaying buildings on it in perpetuity.
Thanks to the Hadawreck folks, the old auto mall will stay commercial for the time being.

Speaking of perfectly good, that’s just how I felt when I heard that the guy charged with killing his girlfriend’s puppy is now facing a felony charge for animal torture.
The original misdemeanor charge could have put him in the pokey for up to a year, which of course means he would likely have been placed on probation.
But the felony charge could land him in the slammer for up to five years, which greatly improves his chances of going to jail for at least some time.
If he instead gets a lengthy probation and community service sentence, wonder if the judge will require him to clean cat boxes and dog pens as a means of teaching him to be kind to animals?
I’m sure the dog pound wouldn’t mind a little free labor, but I can only imagine the reaction of the people there who actually love animals if he’s there on a regular basis, paying his penance.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.