State Rep. Allen Peake, one of the more conservative members of the Bibb legislative delegation, finds himself on the hot seat from some Republicans who are more conservative than him.
Peake, a Macon Republican, holds the District 141 seat in the Georgia General Assembly. Usually, fellow Republicans spend their time patting Peake on the back and heaping praises on him for his work done under the Gold Dome.
Those gestures increased when Peake lead the fight to put together a consolidation charter that would dissolve the current city and county governments and create a new one called Macon Bibb.
Earlier this year, the well-wishers couldn't praise Peake enough when he led efforts to make members of the consolidated government non-partisan.
But the back patting and praises shifted to boos and hisses when some of Bibb's more conservative Republicans realized he'd voted for Mayor Robert Reichert to be the chief executive officer of the new consolidated government.
Those former well-wishers were so upset that they brought the gun lobby down on Peake, who calls himself a long-time support of the 2nd Amendment and the right to have and bear arms.
Some Republicans were so angry with Peake that during a recent meeting of the Republican Executive Committee, they put forth a motion to censure Peake for voting for Reichert. The motion failed.
But a group called Georgia Gun Owners picked up the fight and attack Peake on Facebook for openly supporting "a left wing, anti-gun candidate for office…"
The Georgia Gun group opposed Reichert because he's a member of a nationwide mayors group that wants tighter restrictions on gun sales.
Peake fought back with what he called "an open letter to the community."
"…Today, I have been attacked on a Facebook group page called Georgia Gun Owners as being soft on the second amendment and gun rights because I supported Robert Reichert for mayor against Jack Ellis in the recent Macon-Bibb elections. Their logic is that 'Gun owners should never have to choose between the less of two evils,' therefore I should not have supported Reichert, in their opinion."
Peake said he's always supported gun rights and that he supported Reichert because he believed he was the best person for the job. Peake said the Georgia Guns attacks have gone viral.
"Many of you may not know that I have drawn an opponent in my re-election campaign in 2014 for the Georgia State House. Some of the attacks may be coming because of the upcoming election," Peake said. "I refuse to engage in this type of politicking, and promise that I will only campaign on my strengths, and will not attack the character of my opponent. It will not happen."
Peake's opponent is Brad Moriarty, an electrical engineer with a firm in Warner Robins. Moriarty wasn't available for comment Wednesday. But he said he'd try to work an interview into his schedule during the next week.
On his website, Moriarty listed three primary issues in his campaign. First, he said, "The fundamental right of every American citizen to keep and bear arms is an essential check against government tyranny."
Secondly, Moriarty said parents should be trusted to make judgments regarding how to best educate their children.
Thirdly, Moriarty said every dollar spent funding a government program is a dollar taken away from expanding businesses and hiring new employees in the private sector. "There is thus an inseparable link between big government and unemployment and as a legislator, I intend to seek out every opportunity to examine how a new program or entitlement may be better delivered by private enterprise, " he said.
Qualifying for the 2014 state elections is scheduled for March 3. The primary is scheduled May 20 and runoffs will be held July 22. The general election is scheduled Nov. 4.
District 141 covers parts of Bibb and Monroe counties.