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                                                       Don't mess with Jekyll

Editorial By Savannah Morning News
Created 2008-07-17 23:30

VOTERS IN the Brunswick area sent Gov. Sonny Perdue, the Georgia Legislature and other officials a loud and clear message in Tuesday's primary election: Don't mess with Jekyll Island.

At least not too much.

In a race billed as a referendum on redevelopment of the state-owned island, two-term incumbent State Sen. Jeff Chapman thumped challenger Terry Carter in a closely watched Republican primary.

The right guy won.

Jekyll is showing its age, and there's no question that it needs a fix-up. The question is one of degree.

Mr. Chapman has been the head cheerleader for limited redevelopment. That means improving amenities while preserving an open stretch of beach front and protecting the island's ecologically fragile areas for future generations to enjoy.

Mr. Carter hammered his fellow Republican for fighting developer Linger Longer's more expansive redevelopment plans. He blanketed the area with mailers and phone calls to take the incumbent down.

It was a waste of money.

Mr. Chapman won the nomination, proving that slick salesmanship can't sell the wrong message.