That Oconee Endorsement [UPDATED & Confirmed]

ImageRumor is there was so much outrage from Broun supporters that the Oconee GOP caved like a worm and is going to retract it’s endorsement of Whitehead.

We’ll see if this actually happens. It’s from the tip line, but it backs up some email back and forths I’ve had over this.

The Oconee GOP has run with its tail between its legs. It has retracted the endorsement.


  1. Icarus says:


    You have got to stop putting things like “Oconee County GOP Bribed to take back endorsement” in your headlines. You better change this one quick.

  2. jackson says:

    IF the Oconee GOP did that, they would look like idiots. Whitehead is going to win and Broun is certifiably insane. Any credibility they give him is only going to hack of the future Congressman (and, again, that would be Whitehead) and minimize any of the already minute influence they have.

  3. Erick says:

    Jackson, yeah, I agree. You can’t take back endorsements like that unless the guy has totally flamed out.

    We’ll see. As you correctly point out it is *if* they do it. Right now it’s just a rumor.

  4. bowersville says:

    Well they are idiots. According to Blake Aued at blogs.onlineAthens(link on Blogroll), Oconee GOP Chairman James Griffith called and reported the executive committee met today and undid the endorsement. Griffith also told Blake the Oconee GOP won’t be endorsing anyone.

    I haven’t read the minutes of the endorsement or the withdrawal, but reading between the lines on Aued’s post, Griffith must have cast the tie breaker to undo the endorsement.

  5. Jmac says:

    Blake’s original article on the endorsement revealed a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that suggested this wasn’t the cleanest process in the world (as if these types of things ever are). There appeared to be some odd votes and then bizarre chest-thumping by some Oconee County GOP officials in backing Whitehead.

    My bet is other realized how such an endorsement was pretty out-of-touch with the majority of GOP voters in the county who backed Whitehead, and they had to cover their bases … particularly after this …

    “I just wanted to show that Oconee is not as heavily pro-Broun as it looks like,” party secretary Jay Hanley said.

    Hanley said he was offended that Broun began campaigning for the seat before Norwood’s February death – a charge Broun denies – and was impressed with Whitehead’s record as a state senator and his support from former Norwood staffers.

    The Oconee GOP’s executive committee split over the endorsement. Chairman James Griffith originally cast the tie-breaking vote against endorsing Whitehead, but later ruled that past chairman Larry Davidson could cast a proxy vote in favor of endorsing Whitehead, causing the motion to pass, according to minutes of the meeting.

    First Chairman Mike Maxey, who voted against endorsing Whitehead, actually supports Whitehead and contributed to his campaign, but did not want to split the party by endorsing anyone, Hanley said.

  6. Observer says:

    How can Broun even begin to deny he was campaigning for Norwood’s seat before he died. There are letters that Broun wrote when Norwood had his lung transplant 3 years ago! There are letters from one year ago. There are filings with the Federal Election Commission showing Broun raised money before Norwood died.

    Paul Broun is a scumbag. He is not his daddy. He is a nut who wants to eliminate (not reform)Social Security and Medicare. He is an opportunist who flip flopped from pro-choice to pro-life, and then saw a sick man dying and couldn’t contain himself to start the election.

    It’s no wonder the Norwood staff and Norwood’s widow are supporting Whitehead. He is a decent human being and proved himself to be a very good state senator. And no matter how much Paul Broun keeps lying about Whitehead not caring for the Athens area (Come on Paul, don’t you have anything positive to say about yourself? Ooops, I guess not.), Jim Whitehead will be our next Congressman.

  7. Observer says:

    And by the way, Whitehead received more votes in Columbia and Richmond Counties alone than Broun did in the entire district. Conversely, if you eliminate Columbia and Richmond Counties from the district, Whitehead still received more votes than Broun across the rest of the district.

    Nutty Paul Broun and his supporters are desperate. That is why they are resorting to the lies.

  8. Jasmine says:

    Well, then I take back all the nice things I said about the Oconee GOP. Guess they’re not as independent as I thought.

    I think it’s pretty awful to withdraw an endorsement. I hope they realize that this really makes them look beholden to Broun, incapable of making strong decisions and very unfit to lead such a good Republican county organization.

    This looks really bad for them. Really bad.

  9. Jasmine says:

    And by “them”, I am referring to the Oconee GOP Exec. Board members who voted to un-endorse.

  10. I would certainly hope that members of Congress aren’t petty enough to give a shit about what some county party or other did. Once you get to Congress you should be somewhat above that.

  11. Rpolitic says:

    Hey Eric do you think you could put a link back to the top of the page down here on these long strings?

  12. Capitol Bee says:

    I have to echo what Jasmine said. This looks absolutley rediculous for the Oconee GOP. Either their chairman is an absolute moron who can’t see the writing on the wall or has no spine whatsoever. Either way, wasn’t there a vote cast to whether or not to endorse Whitehead and it passed? I mean, if it’s not what the party wanted couldn’t they have just voted no? Why go through all this “endorsement whithdrawll” and look incompentent doing so? I’d like to see someone from the Oconee GOP get on here and clear up some of the rumours and confussion. From what I can tell, everything was done correctly and on the up and up for the original endorsement for Whitehead (at least that what the original minutes show). Please someone, fill in the missing pieces.

  13. Capitol Bee says:

    Oh, and another thing. From everything I read on here and online (ie, SOS) it looks like most people beleive Whitehead has about a 99.9999% chance of winning this runoff. Doesn’t the Oconee GOP see the same things the rest of us see? I mean, wouldn’t it be in their best intrest to get behind the obvious winner so when they’re asking for favors down the road from the Congressman their requests are not accidentaly lost or put at the bottom of a very long list. Seriously, use some political sense on this one Oconee…

  14. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I mean, wouldn’t it be in their best intrest to get behind the obvious winner so when they’re asking for favors down the road from the Congressman their requests are not accidentaly lost or put at the bottom of a very long list

    Exactly the problem with so many of the kids in politics these days — they learn to think that this is how it’s done. One would hope that when Mr. Whitehead hires his permanent staff, people who think, act, and talk like that would be left off of it.

  15. bowersville says:

    Everyone familiar with team Whitehead knows these are the same professionals that were team Norwood.

    I expect team Whitehead will continue to think, be professionals, and Whitehead will represent the entire 10th district.

    The endorsement/endorsement withdrawal reflects poorly on the GOP leadership in Oconee county, not team Whitehead.

  16. Holly says:

    This is sort of related, and I think it’s cool:

    The Friday announcement of endorsements for Jim from the nine county GOPs ended up being in 88 newspapers throughout the US.

  17. jackson says:


    That’s naive thinking. I wish we all lived in a wonderful world where we all get along no matter which side we worked on. However, simple human nature means that folks that help you get rewarded and those that dont, go to the back of the line.

  18. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Bowersville, I agree — the staff is largely the same, and Charlie’s has always been top-notch. There are a few individuals there who are extremely impressive.
    jackson, you’re correct to a large degree. My complaint is that the next generation of “politicos” like the one I was responding to above is growing up apparently thinking that threats and revenge are a constant and necessary element of electoral politics. If the younger generation could get some better guidance, perhaps, or find their own personal compass (which points in a direction other than “power” and “ambition”) at an earlier age, then perhaps we could be a little more professional and effective in our politics, instead of breeding generation after generation with the same old mindset.

  19. abi04 says:

    I agree with Mr. Emmanuel. It’s the same old thing. You back my dodgeball trauma syndrome study and I’ll help you fund your armadillo rescue project. Look at all the groups and people that Whitehead will be beholden to. Talk about bought and paid for.

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