Flip-Flopping & A Broken Oath
An astonishing reversal and a troubling disregard for a sworn oath.
This article also appears on NorthwestGeorgiaNews.com and in the Catoosa News Walker County Messenger opinion pages.
After winning the GOP primary for Georgia House District 1 in spring 2018, Rep-elect Colton Moore addressed Georgia Libertarian voters and the Libertarian candidate for governor Ted Metz in an article posted on Chattanoogan.com.
In light of Brian Kemp's dead heat with Stacey Abrams, Moore suggested that candidate Metz concede prior to election day so that Brian Kemp would have maximum support against Stacey Abrams.
Moore also spoke directly to libertarian voters saying, “Georgia Libertarians have a lot of power with their vote, they always have. Their 2-4% will be the deciding factor in this race and I hope they understand their candidate cannot and will not win or proceed to a runoff. I ask all Georgia Libertarians and independents to think strongly about their vote and to consider Brian Kemp if they want to avoid creeping socialism that is already taking over many states across our country.”
Moore stated the obvious: the libertarian candidate would not and could not win or make it to a runoff. All they could do was force a runoff or influence the successful election of Stacey Abrams. Kemp went on to win by a slim margin. Ted Metz did not garner nearly as many votes as many had predicted, so maybe messages like Moore's did work.
Then we fast forward to 2020. Moore flirted with running for congress, but instead chose not to run for re-election as district one representative and instead challenged Senator Jeff Mullis for the GOP nomination in the 53rd district state senate seat. Moore lost the primary.
Everyone is well aware of how the general election turned out that fall. However, I noticed something from that period that seems relevant now. In the wake of the election, Chattanooga's local station WDEF ran a story about the looming runoff between Jon Ossoff and David Perdue for the U.S. Senate. Moore, still the district one Republican representative, was interviewed by WDEF about the runoff.
Moore said, “When it comes to the Ossoff/ Purdue race I voted for Shane Hazel the libertarian. I think there’s going to be a lot more folks like me who end up coming out for Purdue.”
An astonishing statement from a sitting Republican elected official. Especially given that he had said in the past with no ambiguity that libertarians should vote Republican in the very tight 2018 general election.
Additionally, Georgia Code(O.C.G.A. § 21-2-153(b)(4)) provides for oaths of affirmation in party primaries. Republican Party of Georgia rules section 10.3 states: “Any candidate for elective office running as a Republican Party candidate shall submit to the appropriate level of the Party the following oath affirming his or her allegiance to the party by signing the following oath: I DO SWEAR OR AFFIRM MY ALLEGIANCE TO THE GEORGIA REPUBLICAN PARTY.”
We all know what happened next. Democratic candidates won both runoff elections and won control of the United States Senate. The inflation we are experiencing is the result of massive deficit spending that Democrats were able to pass because they won control of congress thanks to the Georgia runoffs. If only Senator Perdue had won just a few more votes. Everything could have been different.
In any case, there are two things that are clear and troubling: Moore flip-flopped on his own plea to voters—the importance of not voting libertarian in a tight race in order to "avoid creeping socialism." And apparently oaths aren't important to him either.