GAGOP Round-up: This Is It!

We’re getting close to the bottom of the 9th inning for those seeking to lead the Georgia Republican Party (the convention technically starts on Friday, but the ballots won’t be cast until Saturday). I know there’s a lot of talk going on about the future of Republicans in our great state, and I do believe we are on the verge of squandering the potential we have to keep the state Republican. Changing demographics, friendly fire, name calling, and at least a couple of credible Democratic candidates will change our political makeup to that of North Carolina, Virginia, or Colorado–those states were reliable Republican states but have been becoming more purple.

The Republican leadership in the state will have to lay out a vision for our state GOP. A vision that attracts the attention of leadership in the district, county, and precinct level. A vision that we can get behind. It will be up to the leadership across the state at the district and county level to broadcast that vision and work to implement it.

So, with that said, I’ll share who I plan on voting for on Saturday in Athens:

For GAGOP Chairman: BJ Van Gundy

I believe BJ really gets it. I like the fact that he understands that you can’t win with just Facebook and Twitter alone. We live in a data driven society, and we have to leverage our data to identify and target our message to the undecided voters. Our message of limited government and maximization of personal liberty isn’t the problem. We must adapt in order to find better ways to share our message with voters and in order to grow our grassroots. I believe BJ has a solid plan.

For GAGOP 1st Vice Chairman: Michael McNeely

I haven’t known Michael all that long, but he seems to me like he’s a solid guy. I believe he will help disseminate the message across the state in an effective manner. I believe he is someone that you could talk to, express your ideas, and at least feel like you had been listened to regardless if he agrees or disagrees. He understands the need to broaden our base, but not to dilute our principles. I believe Michael is a strong, principled man who will excel as our next 1st Vice Chairman.

For GAGOP 2nd Vice Chairman: Doug Grammer

I’ve known Doug for a number of years. I consider him a friend, but that alone isn’t reason enough for him to earn my vote. He’s been in the trenches along with me in various settings. I know that he won’t do anything that he wouldn’t do himself. He has done a lot for the Walker County Republican Party over the years, served with excellence as chairman of the 9th District Republican Party, and did a lot to bolster the Young Republicans in Georgia. He has organized candidate trainings, grassroots trainings, banquets, and other events on the local, district, and state level. He knows the hard work that goes into events in the rural counties to make them successful. I believe Doug would be a great asset to the Georgia Republican Party.

For Assistant Secretary: Kirk Shook

Kirk was working as a field director as I was beginning to make my foray into the College Republicans. He’s a sharp guy. I’m sure a number of folks probably don’t see the assistant secretary position as a prestegious position, but it is a seat at the table and a vote on the executive committee. I’ve spoken to Kirk at length, and I believe he would be a good fit for the Party.

So, there you have it. I’m sure I’ll get ire from many folks, but I’m voting for whom I believe would do the best job for the GAGOP.  No matter what happens, I pledge my support to the officers elected at the convention on Saturday.  Feel free to respectfully disagree if you will and share who you like in the comments below.


  1. CSF says:

    I think BJ Van Gundy will make an excellent Chairman. He is the right man at the right time to lead our Party forward.

    Great endorsement, Nathan!!!

  2. Doug Grammer says:

    Thank you Nathan.

    Along with your vote, let me share a few other endorsements:

    Travis Bowden former Republican Liberty Caucus Chairman & Chairman of Gwinnett YR’s

    Pete Costello, former Ninth District Chairman & Cherokee County GOP Chairman

    Martin Dekom, founder of Atlanta YR’s & former Chairman Atlanta YR Chairman

    Darrel Galloway, Fourteenth District Chairman

    Carolyn Garcia, former GA GOP Vice-Chairman

    Pat Gartland, former Christian Coalition of Georgia State Chairman & State Committee Member from Sixth Congressional District

    Truett Moss, former Seventh District Chairman

    Joel Natt, State Committee Member Seventh Congressional District & Chairman of Forsyth County YR’s

    Alisande Osuch, former Thirteenth District Chairman

    Linda Parker, former GA GOP Secretary

    Lawton Sack, Twelfth District Chairman

    Jason Shepherd, former GA GOP Vice-Chairman, former Eleventh Congressional District Chairman & former Buckhead YR Chairman

    Mike Seigle, Fourth District Chairman

  3. satisfied says:

    For the good of the party, let’s pray that you’re in the minority with your opinions. If not, we’ll be even weaker come next election cycle. GA came close to going blue last year, the selections above could guarantee it.

    • Vicki says:

      Praying hard for the same thing, “satisfied”. Those picks would kill our party. See you in Athens.

    • maryg2g says:

      God help the GAGOP if some of Nathan’s endorsements get elected. Goodbye grassroots, inclusivity, big tent…all those catch phrases the establishment is throwing around right now to appear like they even know what they actually mean.

      BTW, Doug, at your repeated suggestion, I finally Googled you last year. Not sure what you were proud of, but anyone considering voting for him should do the same.

      • Doug Grammer says:


        I am proud of 25 years of service to the Georgia GOP, and I will continue to be involved. Thanks for asking.

        • maryg2g says:

          I’m sure you know what I mean, Doug. Unlike you, who tried–but failed–to publicize my personal info on this site last year without my consent, I’ll let this issue rest here. Hopefully, we can have future positive conversations.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            Yes Mary, I remember debating you, and winning, IMO. With a little looking, I think I found a phone number and email for you. I won’t expose you further without your consent. It seems like you have switched from charter to att. Congrats on becoming a delegate. Been to the farmers market lately?

            “You are just such a curious little rhino.” I’ll admit sometimes I get curious, but I haven’t thought about you that much until now. However, I don’t think of myself as little of a rhino.

            • maryg2g says:

              You should have left well enough alone, Doug. I extended the olive branch & gave you an obvious & easy out, but you just can’t stop yourself from being you. When I referred to Googling you, I wasn’t interested in your email addy or where you buy produce. I was referring to your character, or lack of it. I accidentally found your name on the GRTL voters’ page when you were running for probate judge last year. Questioning why a high-profile Christian organization would endorse you (I’ve since learned about their not-so-Christian endorsement procedures.), I did a little online research & phoned a couple of official-types in Walker County. Exhortation: If you post anything else REMOTELY personal about me on this site, I will suddenly feel the need to share. Of course, wisdom dictates this should be a moot point.

              I haven’t given you consent to publish ANY of my personal info, Doug, & I’m entitled to my privacy. If I choose to post anonymously, that’s also my right. Didja ever think that sometimes people have very legitimate reasons for online anonymity? For example, their employer requests/requires it or their spouse’s employer requests/requires it. Or they want to stay out of the cross-hairs of their CIA friends. Or their mom said it was a smart thing to do. Or all of the above.

              Now, you might be inclined to respond in your characteristically arrogant, overbearing, immature way to try to save face on PP. I understand. Don’t be surprised if I don’t even reply. Unless you get personal.

              Again I say, hopefully we can have future positive conversations. (Hey, hey, Doug, this here is the proverbial olive branch.)

              • Doug Grammer says:


                GTRL endorsed me because I recognize the value of human life. It’s not about Christianity, it’s about life.

                I wasn’t picking on you. I just told you I wasn’t going to out you any further. I just wanted you to know that I know who you are. I won’t tell the CIA where you are. You are entitled to your privacy, but no one is forcing you to jump online, start picking fights with people, and then be amazed when they stand up for themselves. Let me know if you think I am wrong.

                It seems like when you use the word extortion, that might be something you are trying to do. That says a lot about your character or lack of it. I have nothing to be ashamed of. When I ran for office, some people told a few lies. Some people are still telling lies. That happens when you run for office. I have never been arrested and I’ve never has a problem more serious than a speeding ticket. Some people told the truth that I lost a lawsuit. That can happen when you own your own company. I’ve also won a few. There is an individual from NW Georgia who might be going to jail for forgery concerning me, but that is irrelevant. It’s irrelevant unless someone decided to share the same forged information, because after I am done with him, I will probably go after them with conspiracy charges. I’m talking about jail time, not civil actions which are also an option. They can have fun with that attorney bill and the next 3 to 5 years.

                I really haven’t thought at about you that much at all. I like it when people try to imply bad things about me and then tell me they want to be friendly in the same thread. You can post anonymously all you like, but your opinions have little value with me until you are ready to use your real name. I love olive branches that are covered in characteristically arrogant, overbearing, immature loving warmth. We can have positive conversations when you stop being so negative.

                I’ll make you a deal. If you want to have warm, sunshiny conversations with me, give and so shall ye receive. Or to put it another way, if you don’t start none, there won’t be none.

                • maryg2g says:

                  I’m going to overlook all the other jumbled rubbish, Doug, except this 1 thing. For Pete’s sake, can’t you get your spelling straight? I said “Exhortation,” NOT extortion! Good grief.

                  • Doug Grammer says:

                    And I’m going to overlook that you got my message, and that you still try to put a negative spin on anything before you. We can tell how sincere you are in your desire for positive conversations. Good Grief.

  4. Vicki says:

    Welcome to the establishment of the Grand Old Party, Nathan. With that lineup of endorsements, you are hereby welcomed into the Good Ol’ Boys Club, who mission is to guarantee that the Georgia Republican Party abandons all grassroots conservative principles and dies on the vine. Yes, you have been well-groomed by the powers-that-be in the GA GOP, Nathan — you’ve earned your back-room reward!

  5. ryanhawk says:

    I’m keeping my mouth shut … other than to endorse Kirk Shook. I don’t know his competition I do know Kirk and he is a smart, hard working, and fair minded guy that would SERVE us all well on the executive committee.

  6. civusamericanus says:

    BJ VanGundy gave money to Democrats, then claimed it was his company not him. Leaders in political parties should have the ethics to be above “cronyism”. If VanGundy gives money to Democrats for business interest, what can we expect him to do as GA GOP State Chairman in regards to Georgia’s Republican counties? Can we trust he won’t use his influence and position, to intimidate Republican county folks into doing business with him or his cronies? Do we want the Republican Party to be like the Democratic Party, if it’s ok to donate money to Democrats for political favors in business, what’s stopping a businessman from using his political power to intimidate others like Obama, for financial gain?

    I trust Alex Johnson; he has no crony business interest or personal vendetta driving his decision for chairmanship. Political parties are essentially social networks, and EVERYONE knows the leaders in social media, are young innovators like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey. The new way to increase membership, fundraise, and grow influence is a hundred times more effective and less expensive, than the old ways of growing political parties.

    Delegates voting for Alex Johnson will bring Georgia Republican’s into the future and provide the added NATIONAL attention by Georgia Republicans electing the youngest GOP State Chair in the NATION! You want to attract young Republican growth in Georgia for a RED STATE future; there it is in a nutshell!
    The video below demonstrates in BJ VanGundy’s own words, why Georgia Republicans cannot in good conscience support his unprincipled crony business/political tactics.

    • civusamericanus says:

      BJ VanGundy’s “e2assure” conflict of interest:

      Is it a conflict of interest to be the GAGOP Chairman and also run a company which according to its description: “is a professional services firm that focused on State, County, and Local Government organizations, with the objective of improving client organizational efficiency and effectiveness.” ?

      If nominated as GAGOP chairman, and a partner in a company of this nature, wouldn’t he have a major advantage in selling/implementing his services to Georgia’s Republican Counties, not to mention the ease of intimidation?

      Aren’t Republicans up in arms about Democrats using Government to stifle Republican business through the IRS, EPA, and countless other agencies, and at the same time many Democratic companies are getting “Special Deals” from those same agencies? Isn’t this Cronyism???

      For goodness sake, are Georgia Republicans that stupid to put a “Fox in charge of the hen-house”?

      Does anyone see a conflict of interest between VanGundy’s business and the Republican Party Position he is seeking?

      • Napoleon says:

        First off, some of the disclosures showed the donations were from “B.J. Van Gundy” and listed his employer as “e2assure.”

        During the same time there a ZERO donations by either Van Gundy or his company to any Republican candidate for state office.

        That should be a problem.

        Also, as Doug Deal points out below, Van Gundy was a member, and I believe at times, Chaired the IT Committee. Was he suppressing technology improvements to give himself a campaign talking point?

        • civusamericanus says:

          Hmmm interesting point. If VanGundy was part of the IT Committee, then why did it seem like organizing and fundraising technology efforts were like IBM Keypunches (Code name ORCA) vs. Obama’s Optimizer and Project Narwhal? Even the Ron Paul supporters were running circles around the establishment in fundraising and organizing.

          I can’t stress enough how desperately we need young leaders at the helm to rival the Democrats. I’m not even saying VanGundy or Padgett are bad guys, I’ve heard a bunch of positive stuff about them, the fact is they can’t play the game that will be played on us by the democrats in the next election.

          I”m a geek too like VanGundy, but I’m damn near middle age and can’t play the game like these young fellas can, in terms of getting the vote out. Neither would I EVER run for a chair position which could potentially be a conflict of CRONY interest to my own personal business interest. Even if VanGundy didn’t give into the temptation of utilizing his position of Chairmanship to strike deals for his companies, they would come on their own, because Republican County leaders would feel obligated to work with him.

          Unfortunately, I got word the nominating committee has decided on the following Chairman-Padgett, McKneely, and Ron Johnson I hear McKneely is the only one under 60 on the slate. McKneely is the only smart choice on the slate, and I’d rather have him as Chairman than Padgett. I hope Alex Johnson gives an unforgettable speech tomorrow and runs away with the chair, regrettably I have little hope as the establishment clenches to power in Georgia, so I guess “you just can’t fix stupid”.

        • Doug Deal says:

          He didn’t chair it. The chair left for reasons someone else would explain better, and derailed a lot of our in progress work.

          If I remember correctly, BJ was very active in giving his recommendations and input while we were in session. Any problems with technology were far from anything that could be blamed on him.

  7. Doug Deal says:

    I am very satisfied with the quality of candidates running this year. I think the choice at chairman is clear cut, but it has been difficult selecting people in the other races.

    The nastiness from the “Anybody But Van Gundy” group, however, has turned me off about as much as some of the nonsense that had transpired last time. I suppose if one wants to throw their lot in with spammers hurling insults anonymously, then go with them. I am going to be voting for Van Gundy because I have worked with him on the State IT Committee and I know he has a vision for the party’s technological future.

  8. davidfarrar says:

    I would support whomever passes a floor motion to ask each and every US Congressional candidate to help give all Georgians a louder voice than Washington’s insider groups and special interests this time around by not asking for, nor accepting any outside the state PAC funds, or political endorsements, during her primary campaign, if the other Congressional candidates agree to abide by the same limitation, as well.

    The Tea Party Exploratory Committee of Georgia has been created to help Tea Party candidates establish their Tea Party credentials throughout the state for the 2014 elections.

    Item 1: Congressional candidates must agree not to ask for or accept any outside the state PAC funds, or political endorsements, during their primary campaigns.

    Georgia’s congressional representation belongs to the good people of Georgia. It should not be sold off to Washington bigwigs to the highest bidder long before the first Georgian walks into a voting booth.

    ex animo

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