We already know that there’s at least one person who is running for state Republican Party chairman in 2013. That man is former state senator Chip Pearson. Since current chairman Sue Everhart is term-limited, it will be an open seat and expect a number of folks will run for the open seat. In addition to Chip, there are two other names that are being floated around as considering making a run for the top Republican position in Georgia: BJ Van Gundy, current 2nd Vice Chairman of the State Party, and Shawn Hanley, former Fulton County Republican Party chairman and contender for state chairman in 2011. Joe Dendy and Rob Doll are said to be considering a run. I’m sure other names will float around the political ether. No word on if Bert Guy is considering a run although I’m hearing he’s not planning on it at the moment, but it would be a natural progression for him since he is the current 1st Vice Chairman. Regardless, there will be a shift in Republican leadership next year. Fair warning: the convention process starts in February 2013, so expect to see announcements come out as soon as the General Election in the can.
2007 through 2013, the tenure of Sue Everhart, was a time of transition for the Republican Party. We were in the midst of a transition from a Democratically-ruled state government that started in 2002 and essentially ended in 2010. Now we leave the era of transition and enter an era of governing as a solid Republican majority. The new state Republican chairman will be faced with maintaining the majorities in Georgia…which will be a task in and of itself. Our goal will need to be showing what we have done during our time in the majority, and what we will continue to do for Georgians if we continue to keep the majority.
I believe our state party should do two things going into the future: explore ways to get elected officials to better adhere to the platform and laying out a plan for Georgia. I have already covered the latter in a separate post, but I believe that the state party should look at ways of holding our elected officials accountable. I believe the party should be independent of the elected officials, but not vice versa. Our party lends the brand to these folks, and I don’t want them to tarnish it. Some, unfortunately, have, and I believe it’s time for folks in the Republican Party to say that enough is enough. If there is an elected official who conduct is not up to par, then I believe we have the responsibility, as representatives of our party, to call these people out on the rug and explain themselves. Unfortunately, I don’t believe an effective mechanism exists to where that can effectively be done.
For the gentlemen considering a run for the top spot Republican, our party can’t continue to solely focus on “winning elections”. We are now the governing party, and we need to make sure that our candidates and elected officials are held accountable to us, the grass root voters of Georgia. I believe that’s how we can continue to keep the trust of Georgia voters in the years to come.