ALBANY — While the process leading to the Nov. 4 general election has “seemed endless” for incumbent Republican District 4 Dougherty County Commissioner Ewell Lyle, Lyle warns his opponent — Democrat Patrick Garner — that Garner shouldn’t count on Lyle’s lack of campaign experience as a weakness.
“I’ve had to kind of sit back and wait a long time since qualifying in March since no one challenged me in the Republican primary,” said Lyle, a retired Department of Natural Resources manager who was unopposed four years ago when he qualified for his first term in office. “But that doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing. I attended all of the forums, and I’ve gone out and knocked on doors.
“I took my campaign signs down after the primaries (May 20) because there was an almost six-month period before the general election. People were getting jaded about the election. But now I’ve got my signs back out and I’m out campaigning, going door to door and talking to the people of District 4. One of the things that (former District 4 Commissioner) Chuck Lingle told me is that personal contact is the most important part of campaigning.”
Lyle finds himself facing the challenge of a Democrat who’s taken shots at his record in office. And the incumbent admits he’s grown increasingly frustrated with his opponent’s campaign strategy.
“He (Garner) tends to wait until an article appears in the paper and then tries to flip around what I say,” Lyle said. “That’s gotten frustrating. He’s got this so-called ‘three-pronged’ plan that he’s come up with that offers nothing new. He says he wants the people he calls ‘first responders’ to get a raise. Well, we all want that. But when you’ve been a part of the process, you know that this is a time of austere budgets on the national, state and local level.