Mark LaJoye wants your vote.
But last month, you would have thought LaJoye was running for district attorney -- not Muscogee County sheriff.
The Republican candidate gets a pass until November when he will face the person who emerges from the July Democratic primary -- either Sheriff John Darr or Pam Brown.
Instead of keeping a low profile and waiting for the dust to settle, LaJoye tossed a grenade into the district attorney's race between Democratic incumbent Julia Slater and Republican challenger Mark Post.
It happened during a campaign forum at the Columbus Public Library.
LaJoye, a former Columbus police officer, claimed Slater refused to prosecute a young man accused of raping one of LaJoye's relatives.
Slater was caught off guard. And there is a good reason for that. It was the first she had heard of the allegation.
LaJoye didn't pull her aside and ask about it in a quiet corner. He did it from the audience of a politically charged forum.
After the fact, Slater checked it out. So did the Ledger-Enquirer.
LaJoye's claim was false. And the forum he selected to bring it to tells us more about LaJoye's style than any debate ever could.
If LaJoye had pulled the police file -- like the newspaper did at a cost of $36.48 -- he would have found that the case never reached Slater's office.
After nearly nine months of investigation that included DNA testing, police Detective Mark Richards wrote in one supplemental report that LaJoye's relative was "noticeably vague" on critical details of the assault, and that her recollection of times, dates and places was "often very ambiguous."
"There is very little forensic evidence to charge (the suspect) with this sexual assault," Richards wrote. "It will be very difficult to establish the essential elements required to prove probable cause for rape against this suspect."
That is language a former cop who wants to be high sheriff should be able to understand.
Without probable cause, you don't have a crime. And this one never reached Slater's office. The police made the call after a thorough investigation.
LaJoye claims an investigator told him Slater's office would not prosecute. That's not in the file and Slater said her office was never consulted.
It is hard to look at the facts objectively when someone you love is involved, and I understand that. I even respect it.
But he went public before ever looking at what was inside that police file.
How do we know this?
A Ledger-Enquirer reporter gave a copy of the 37-page file to LaJoye. If that had been someone related to me, I would not have waited for a newspaper reporter to bring it to me.
Georgia's Open Records Act is not just for reporters.
Chuck Williams, metro editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org