Ethan Underwood is formerly the Chairman of the Republican Party in Forsyth County, Georgia, and by all accounts is a very nice guy. I apparently met him at a Family Research Council event. I don’t remember him. But members of his church tell me he is a great guy.

He is also a kept man and for that reason Republicans should oppose his election to the Georgia House of Representatives.

During the state legislative session, one of the strongest defenders of the Republicans’ billion dollar tax increase was State Representative Mark Hamilton. In fact, during the floor debate, Hamilton stood on the floor of the State House and gave a passionate defense of the tax increase. Hamilton said he was proud of the tax increase, was proud to vote for it, and was proud to stand before the voters of Forsyth County and let them hold him accountable. He was sure they would re-elect him.

On May 11, 2015, Mark Hamilton announced he was quitting the state legislature. Hamilton waited until after helping Georgia House Speaker get the Speaker’s yes man elected majority leader, then bolted.

Precisely one day after Hamilton announced he was going to leave the legislature instead of face the voters for his billion dollar tax increase vote, Ethan Underwood declared his candidacy. He was already set up with a campaign, a logo, etc. Within twenty-four hours, Underwood was ready to launch a professional campaign. Oh, and Hamilton endorsed him out of the gate.

Multiple people who attend church with Ethan Underwood tell me that he was talking about the race before Hamilton left. Essentially, the Republicans who killed the religious liberty legislation and voted for a billion dollar tax increase wanted a coronation. They wanted to cut the voters of Forsyth County out of the process as much as possible.

So not only did Underwood get time to get ready, they then set the election for June 16. Yes, that’s right. The state that just dragged out its primary season in 2014 to make sure the military had time to vote has decided to rush this election.

The people that killed the religious liberty legislation and gave us the billion dollar tax increase are desperate to get Ethan Underwood in the State House. In fact, Mark Hamilton endorsed Ethan Underwood as his chosen successor.

Georgians should not let the Republicans who gave us a billion dollar tax increase pick any candidates for state office. But they are trying.

Ethan Underwood is a kept man. He can say he supports religious liberty. He can say he opposes the billion dollar tax increase. But the very people who opposed the one and pushed the other are the very ones stacking the deck in Underwood’s favor. There is no way Underwood would betray them. He may support religious liberty, but he won’t fight for it. He may oppose the tax increase, but he won’t fight to reverse it. He’s a kept man.

And kept man are too covered in pocket lint to be worth supporting.

I am supporting David Van Sant. He’s his own man. He has the ability to mount the strongest opposition to Ethan Underwood in the next fifteen days. And we need to make sure Ethan Underwood, kept man that he is, is not sent to the State House to do his masters’ bidding.

Ethan Underwood may be an awesome guy and a great Christian. But he won’t be his own man in the state legislature.