I suppose many of the county Republican conventions across Georgia could’ve had Bruce Hornsby’s “Gonna Be Some Changes Made” playing in the background. I lost my reelection for chairman of the Walker County Republican Party by just a couple of votes. I’ve come to accept the will of our convention and will continue to diligently work for our Republican Party in the future. I wish my successor, Glenn Roberts, much luck in his new position. Our county has the same folks on the Executive Committee, but we now have different roles. I will now be serving as 2nd Vice Chairman of our county party. Some counties, however, had some major changes in leadership.
Catoosa County, for instance, has a new set of leadership. The previous leadership didn’t want to continue to serve this term. Many tanks to Roger Bowman for his dedication to his county’s party. I am glad that I got to work with him while he was at the helm of the Catoosa County Republican Party. Former candidate for District Attorney, fellow ham, and friend Doug Woodruff succeeded Roger as chairman. I am certainly glad that Doug stepped up to the plate to serve in this capacity. Congratulations to Doug. I have no doubt that he will do a great job. My friend Layla Shipman was elected as the next chairman of the Floyd County GOP. She did a fantastic job as chairman of the Floyd County Young Republicans and as national committeewoman for the Georgia Young Republicans. Floyd County will certainly benefit from her leadership.
A political mentor of mine (at least, I consider him as such) Chuck Payne is returning to the chairman role in the Whitfield County Republican Party. My friend Angela Young won reelection as chairman for the Dade County Republican Party. She has had an interesting journey as chairman. She became chairman after John Deffenbaugh resigned to seek the Republican nomination for the 1st district state representative slot. She also had to battle some Republicans in her own county who had publicly endorsed, donated, and campaigned for the incumbent Democrat sheriff against the Republican nominee for sheriff during the general election last year. I believe that Angela handled that situation and her county’s Republican Party very well. I hope the Republicans in Dade County will give her the support she needs for the next two years.
To the new, and also the returning, chairmen across our great state, I hope that you will reach out to all sides of our Party. We may have differing views on some issues, but we are all on the same team. We are Republicans…at least we profess to be. I’m willing to believe that, and I also believe that we can do better if we work together rather than try to divide and isolate segments of our Party. We cannot continue to exclude like-minded people just because we don’t see eye-to-eye on every single issue. I believe we probably agree a lot more than we think…we just get hung up on that last 5 to 20 percent. Sometimes it’s all in the message.
I believe our conservative message is appealing and sound. We have a lot of folks my age interested in candidates like Congressman Ron Paul, Senator Rand Paul, and other liberty-minded candidates because they actually believe in limiting government. Sure, they have zeal and may be abrasive, but we have to work with them rather than against them. I may disagree with the recent opinions that Karl Rove has expressed about how the TEA Party is a liability to the Republican Party, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t at least have his opinion heard and given respect. I believe that if a person disagrees with someone, he should disagree with him respectfully.
The term “unity” does seem to fly around like a buzzword and seems to be mainly used by folks who were victorious in an election. It’s easier to call for unity when you won. Losing sucks, but that doesn’t mean to pack up and go home (I was tempted for a few minutes). It’s best to dust yourself off and try again. We must have a truce in our party. We cannot continue to fight against each other if we are expecting to keep Georgia in the Republican category. Trust me, the Democrats may look like they’re in disarray in our state, but I don’t doubt that they are keeping track of what we say and do. They are searching for cracks in our foundation so that they can try to make them wider and wider. Georgia may easily end up like North Carolina, Virginia, or Colorado in the next decade or two if we are not careful. We have to stop the in-fighting.
It’s time for the old and new guard to stop shooting inward towards their allies and start shooting out towards the real opponents.