Dear Editor: First, thank you for great coverage of local elections. I don't live in Newton County, but covnews.com is my homepage on my computer. I love journalism and I have a particular fondness for local papers. Your news coverage is wonderful.
Firstly, I offer my deepest apology to Dan Walden for any actions I did to offend him personally that would cause him to respond in a manner that has left me speechless. I haven't made a comment or statement about Dan because Dan isn't running for office.
Dan Walden is a leader in the community. He is the Chairman of Main Street Covington. But most importantly, he is the Director of Children and Youth Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Covington.
In the District 5 race for Newton County Commissioner, Dan - a long-time liberal (in his owns words) - has been a strong advocate for Jared Rutberg. An ad was published by Wesley Dowdy's campaign in your paper on Friday and Sunday. This ad has been a topic of debate throughout Newton County. While I know the campaign didn't expect everyone to agree with the ad, the response from Dan Walden was most astounding.
His comments were vengeful and full of malice towards me. I can't imagine what I've done to offend Mr. Walden personally in a way that would cause such a hurtful response.
I'd like to publicly admit to having a past I am not proud of. I do not make any suggestion that I am a perfect person. In fact, as the Apostle Paul said, you will not find anyone who has been in a deeper pit of sin and destruction than me. But I am thankful for the grace that rescued me. Of course, our past is something we have to live with and, while I'm not sure why Dan would decide to throw this information around without being adequately informed, I have to live with my past. So, I'll answer any questions from anyone regarding this issue.
I love Newton County. In fact, we have discussed moving to Newton County on many occasions. The first thing I would do would be to find a place of worship. I trust Dan is a man of integrity and a man after God's own heart. I believe in the same God and the same grace he does. I truly hope when we do move to Newton County, Dan's actions - as a leader of Main Street Covington and someone responsible for Christian education (especially to children and youth) - are not an indication as to how me and my family would be treated if we joined FPC Covington. I am deeply hurt that someone in his position would act in a way that seeks to give judgment over grace and vengeance over compassion. I'd like to offer my apology to Dan if he has felt attacked by me at all.