David Clark Nominated for HD 98 in Gwinnett

In the second round of balloting, David Clark, brother of current House District 98 Rep. Josh Clark, was selected by the Georgia Republican Party Executive Committee to be on the November ballot. Clark was chosen over David Hancock by a vote of 20-6.

Clark and Hancock survived the first round of balloting by the Executive Committee. Vote totals were:

David Clark – 9
David Hancock – 8
James Sanford – 4
Clint Dixon – 3
Tommy Hughes – 3

Three of the finalists were selected by a subcommittee headed by Seventh District Chairman Jason Thompson. The subcommittee narrowed the original nine applicants to three: David Hancock, Tommy Hughes and Clint Dixon, with Hancock being the first choice of the committee, supported by all five members.

In addition to the three candidates nominated by the subcommittee, James Sanford was nominated by Georgia GOP Second Vice-Chair Ron Johnson and David Clark was nominated by GOP National Committeewoman Linda Herren.

In part, the subcommittee screened the applicants for basic political and civic knowledge, for example asking who the district’s state senator and school board representative were, or the applicant’s position on the second amendment.

The committee also examined each candidate’s voting history. One of the candidates faced scrutiny because he had crossed over to the Democratic ticket in 2008 to vote for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, following the advice of Rush Limbaugh and Operation Chaos.

Each of the five was given two minutes to address the full Executive Committee.

Clark replaces Michael Brown, who won the Republican primary against Hancock in May. Brown passed away August 19th of natural causes. Because Gwinnett’s ballots were already being printed, the replacement candidate had to be chosen quickly.


  1. I appreciate how the Executive Committee went about this. I know all those involved considered this carefully. I also appreciate the citizens who came forward to offer themselves for this position.

    Congratulations to David Clark. I look forward to working with him.

  2. Will Durant says:

    Best that could be expected given the circumstances.

    As I have stated before I don’t think the taxpayers should be paying for partisan primaries in the first place. I certainly didn’t want to pay for a special one, runoff, & general.

    Still wish we could ask voters a couple of those political/civics questions before their vote gets counted however, not as difficult though. Just along the lines of Leno’s Jaywalkin’ bit like; who lives in the White House? Name a country that borders Mexico…

  3. debbie0040 says:

    Extremely disappointing but not surprised. More to come later and please don’t mention party unity

    • ConservativeCaucus says:

      How was this a kangaroo court? David Clark led after the first ballot and Hancock went on to get fewer votes on the second ballot. I understand you don’t like the results, but how was this a travesty?

    • Joseph says:

      Debbie, the Exec and State Party followed the law on this. I’m not sure how to look up when a specific section of the OCGA was added / amended, but as little used as this provision in the law is used, I’m sure it’s been there for a while.

      For those that don’t like the process, work to change the law which governed it.

      However – in this specific instance, all candidates had equal opportunity to reach out to all 28 electors individually. Some did and some did not. While there was the “nominating committee”, any of the candidates could have put their name up for nomination had they simply gotten any member of the EC to do so (meaning all 8 could have been considered before the full EC regardless of the nominating committee’s recommendation – ie: David Clark).

      • @Joseph – Actually, all candidates had equal opportunity to come before the local board – it was not clear that they had equal opportunity to reach out to all 28 electors individually. While that is a lovely way filter out those without influence, most who I talk with naturally ask why the runner up didn’t automatically get the nod.

        @Joseph – Good for the Ga GOP for following the law; I don’t think our expectations can be any lower.

        @Debbie – On the brighter side – I hope this process inspires a primary slate, since I don’t think the state exec committee will put much effort into recruiting candidates for the primary next year.

        There must have been one hell of a presentation and lobbying on behalf of the Clark family.

        In the end, David Clark has a HUGE mountain to climb, lots of work to put into becoming established within the community, and I only hope the next two years are fruitful for the district.

        • Ken says:

          Any of those seeking the post could have contacted members of the state executive committee. There was absolutely nothing preventing this from happening. So, yes, there was equal opportunity for access. Some took advantage of that and some did not.

          • Ken – if you read the presser:

            “In addition, voting members of the State Executive Committee may recommend a person for the substitute nomination by sending an email to Adam Pipkin at [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. ”

            Voting members of the SEC. It does not say, “The general public is welcome to lobby the SEC”. Equal opportunity for access… not so much.

            Also, for those who keep going on about a primary challenge – I’m confused here. The reason this process was undertaken was because it was, “Too expensive” to have an election. If that’s the case then shouldn’t there be some competition when being elected for the first time? It’s not really being primaried if you were appointed, it’s just running in a primary.

            • Lawton Sack says:

              The paragraph above the one you quoted states:

              “The State Executive Committee invites all interested Republicans who meet the qualification requirements to apply for the substitute nomination. To be considered for the nomination, you must email your request and any supporting documentation no later than 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 24 to Executive Committee member Jason Thompson at EMAIL REMOVED. A subcommittee will interview applicants on Monday, August 25 in Gwinnett County. Applicants will be notified of the place and time of their interviews with the subcommittee.”

              The idea about saving money was that there would have to be a special election, possibly a runoff, and then the general election.

            • Ken says:

              And any member of the public had the ability to contact a member of the state executive committee and encourage the nomination of a particular person. Equal opportunity for access? Absolutely. Nearly all of us are elected by the members of the Republican Party and we make it a point to be available to the public.

              The names of the Georgia GOP Executive Committee are public knowledge. Our contact information is on the state GOP website and I’m sure there are quite a few other ways to get that information. Quite a few people did take the initiative to contact us. No special invitation is required to do so.

    • Ken says:


      “A little learning is a dangerous thing;
      drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
      there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
      and drinking largely sobers us again.”
      – Alexander Pope

      Please get sufficient information before calling anything a travesty. Following the rules is neither a travesty nor an injustice.

      The process was followed legally and with due diligence. The subcommittee, chaired by Jason Thompson, produced a thorough and well-researched report. That committee did, I believe, an excellent job especially considering the short time frame.

      You and I actually preferred the same candidate though there were some other candidates who deserved, and got, serious consideration from myself and the other members of the state executive committee. As for the reasoning of the individual members of the committee – I was only one vote and you now know how I voted, mostly on the strength of the recommendation of Jason’s committee – that it for them to say or keep to themselves.

      At this point, I am a David Clark supporter and I believe he will be an able representative for HD 98. The right thing to do at this point is to judge the man on his actions as a state representative for the people of his district.

      I was on the losing end of that vote, but I am a conservative and; therefore, follow the rules agreed upon in advance. The state law was followed, the state executive committee was open and fully above board in its actions. The meetings were conducted in a fair and equitable manner with opportunities for the applicants to contact members of the state executive committee as well as Jason’s committee.

      Other than forcing people to vote exactly as you want – which is not what you purport to endorse – I see no room for complaint. Finally, for future reference, anyone deeply concerned over the outcome also had every opportunity to contact the members of the Georgia Republican Party Executive Committee in advance of the vote and lobby for their preferred candidate. Some did just that; you did not.

  4. PegM says:

    I’m delighted with the choice! The Clark name is one of honesty, integrety and sense of community. Good job committee. I’m glad that the candidate who hosted Joe Newton as a keynote speaker was proven to have poor judgement.

  5. debbie0040 says:

    @Lowered Expectations, it inspires a primary challenger in 2016 , letters to the editor and informing activists statewide about what took place. You can toss party unity out the window…

    There were three names submitted by the nominating sub-committee and they are in order of preference: David Hancock, Tommy Hughes and Clint Dixon. David Hancock ran in the GOP Primary and received 39.13% of the vote and finished 2nd. David is also very active in the Gwinnett GOP and is a founder of a very active tea party in Gwinnett. David was the unanimous choice of the sub committee. The sub-committee spent hours interviewing potential candidates.
    It was a clear snub to tea party activists by not putting David on the ballot.

    Oh yea the GOP wants the tea party to work to help elect Republican candidates and help do the grunt work to help elect the Republican slate in the general, but want us to disappear in a corner until we are needed again. Heck, I would have been happy had one of the other two been selected that the sub committee recommended.

    But no, that wasn’t the case. You see former Rep. Josh Clark and his associates look at that seat not as the peoples set but a legacy seat reserved for a family member of Josh Clark or another elitist. The Executive Committee of the GA GOP apparently feels the same way . Make no mistake-the message was loud and clear…

    • Will Durant says:

      You are correct in that Mr. Hancock received 39% of the vote and finished 2nd, in a 2 man race. It is also worth noting that it is the second time the voters in the district have seen what Mr. Hancock is offering and chose his opponent as the Republican nominee. I couldn’t care less that it is a snub to “tea party activists”. It would have been a snub to the actual voters in the 98th district who have voted overwhelmingly for his non-incumbent opponents twice in a row if the committee had forced Mr. Hancock on us anyway.

  6. debbie0040 says:

    Like I said, I would have been happy were one of the three names nominated by the sub committee whose members resided in the home county of the district. Instead it was decided by Republican elitists outside the district.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    I complained about the elitists that made the selection and the blatant thumbing their noses at local activists and tea party activists.

  8. PegM says:

    Of all the words to describe the Clark family, elitist is so far from what they are that it is laughable. If you don’t like the results talk to the folks who appointed him, don’t besmirch the Clark’s. And the only Kangaroos in Georgia are on a breeding facility near Helen, not in court.

  9. Just Nasty and Mean says:

    Ms. Dooley, there were representatives of the Tea Party on the Executive Committee AND the Sub-Committee. Simply EVERY ONE of your criticisms of the process and its conclusions are wrong. Before you start slinging arrows, please get your facts straight.

    Summary: Your objections are invalid.

    Why don’t you take that sharp critical eye and aim at the enemy? Your pattern seems to shoot your own–a circular firing squad–if you will. Try converting some of the moochers and users to constitutional conservatism. Just being a contrarian to everything is NOT helping.

    • debbie0040 says:

      The sub committee did not nominate Clark for a reason. I never said the law or rules weren’t followed.

    • debbie0040 says:

      Just Nasty and mean, there are many Republicans that need to be converted to Constitutional conservatism. You do recall the big government programs of the Bush Administration right?

      Look at some of the policies pushed by Republicans in Georgia

  10. MikeS says:

    David Clark was not nominated by the committee, but he represents a new generation. Young, Army Ranger, combat veteran, conservative, and un bought. I did not vote for him, but I think he will do just fine. Give him a session and then make a judgement.

    I think he will fit in perfectly with the Tea Party reformers as well as the Social conservatives who are dominant in his district. Plus, he is young enough to reach out to younger voters something the GOP really needs. Perfect, no, but none of his problems are ideological and all his problems can be fixed with experience.

    • FWIW – I think this candid photo of David Clark actually helps the GOP. In this day and age, EVERYone is going to have a questionable photo out there that can be twisted. Two guys with a beer in flag shorts in a pick-up truck? Those could be my brothers…and my brothers are really good guys and upstanding members of the community. I’d trust the guys in the FB photo to do the right thing way before I’d trust a pale.stale.male jockeying for power.

      I think the nepotism of him taking his brother’s spot is a little suspect, but I can also see the value of him being mentored by his older brother. I’m with you – give him a session…

    • Debbie,

      I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer. As one of the other posters said your complaints are without merit. As best I can tell, the entire state GOP Executive Committee took this process very seriously. Three of the people who actually voted in this process have posted in this thread and none of them agree with you. I know many of the folks on the state EC and to suggest they would cave to pressure from elitists, or that they are elitists themselves is preposterous.

      On a related note, have you spoken with Tommy Hughes and asked him what he thinks of the TEA Party movement? I have it on good authority he’s not a fan, yet you say he was the second best choice.

      Your contention seems to be that the full Executive Committee should have immediately elected David Hancock because he was the first choice of the sub-committee. I’ll remember that at the next County convention and look for you to call for the immediate approval of the choices the nominating committee puts forward.

      Now, here and on Facebook, you’re attacking David Clark and promising him a primary opponent in two years. What?

      Oh, and about that photo. Surely you are not saying we can know everything there is to know about a person from one photo? I’m sure the person who was passing that photo around could find photos of you or me to try to make us look bad too. Don’t be so quick to pass judgement.

        • ConservativeCause says:

          Buzz makes a fair point here – you would rather have Tommy Hughes, someone not friendly to Tea Party ideals, only because he came out of nominating? That doesn’t jive with what I know about you. Local control is certainly important, but it doesn’t trump everything. I would think that you would agree that the values that one stands for is more important than local control… right?

          So, by all accounts, two conservative guys get the highest number of votes. I for one, find that encouraging.

        • Salmo says:

          1. Did you, or did you not, take up temporary residence this year in a State House district in which you’ve never lived for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the primary for their House seat?

          2. Have you, or have you not, attempted to involve yourself in a Senate race in Mississippi because you didn’t like the results due to the “wrong” Mississippians voting in the race?

          Bless your heart.

    • UpHere says:

      Well, if we are judging by “appearances” and “Facebook pages”, it is about time you did something with your hair, Debbie. For crying out loud, perms went out in the mid 90’s …..

      This is the most laughable thread I have seen on Peach Pundit. Debbie cries when Debbie doesn’t get what she wants and everything is a pale on the Tea Party movement. Cry all you want, Debbie. You have reached a disgusting level of entitlement.

    • Nathan says:

      If Debbie doesn’t like how the GAGOP is being ran, why doesn’t she run for district chairman or one of the state officer positions in 2015?

  11. KSM says:

    Please be patient as I am new to following politics and starting here to get a grasp on what is going on locally, and as this is my district I’ve been following this. It seems to me that those on here defending David Clark know him and vouch for his character (great), and are being downright mean to anyone not instantly accepting of him (really, her hair?) I looked at his Facebook profile too when they were just candidates and openly mocked him… clearly he was not intending to be a politician, just a fact! Not that he doesn’t look like a good guy, just not a polished profile. (No, I won’t be sharing my name for you to critique me, yikes!). But sincerely… please explain to me how anyone was to know that the process was to call the EC and voice recommendations. I guess 3 of you here were on there and that seems to be your defense, but I was only aware of the process by which you could go through a 15 minute interview, or directly nominate someone to the EC through one email address. Nominate. Not campaign for by having all of your well connected family make calls. I’m just wondering if he couldn’t be bothered to go through the same process as the others, or if he just knew he didn’t need to. I sincerely hope he does serve and I am swayed by his actions like the census seems to be here.
    I’m trying so hard to keep up with politics, but the darn politicians just make it so hard!!!!

    • Jon Richards says:

      KSM, I would say that’s part of knowing politics. Campaigning for a seat is pretty much standard fare in a political race (and this was indeed, a race). It’s just that the voter pool was a lot smaller than what you would normally find in an election. And coming up with the name and contact information for the executive committee isn’t that difficult to do.

      As far as Clark’s picture, keep in mind that it’s his personal Facebook page, and that until Friday or Saturday, he wasn’t running for anything. I wouldn’t put much stock in a Facebook picture.

        • debbie0040 says:

          You guys that live in other counties imagine this for a moment. There is state legislative vacancy that exists in your county. There is a sub committee formed in your county consisting of local GOP activists that interviews candidates. They all volunteer their time on behalf of the local county party and they know who is involved. You have confidence the sub committee will do a fair job of screening candidates. This sub committee goes to the trouble of looking at voting records and giving each candidate that comes before them in depth interviews. You keep your distance because you have faith in the process and believe the GOP Executive Committee would take their recommendations because supposedly the GOP is about local control. The sub committee unanimously gave one person their top rating. It so happens this person is a volunteer with the GOP and got 40% of the vote in the recent primary. They recommended two others as well out of all the candidates. Some elected officials want the brother of the State Rep who decided not to run for re-election. Republican National Committeewoman Linda Herren nominates the candidate the Reps want. The GA GOP Executive basically says screw you to the local activists and choose the candidate preferred by the good ole boy network that no one in the county party knows or has ever seen at events. How would you feel?

          • Will Durant says:

            I DO live in the district and am fine with saying screw you to your minority of activists, local or otherwise, that want to force the candidate on the district who did not win the majority of the votes, twice in a row.

          • Nathan says:

            If you’re not happy with the procedures/priorities/leadership/whatever, why don’t you lead that change and offer yourself up by putting your name on the ballot during the 2015 convention cycle for one of our top leadership positions (chairman, 1st vice, 2nd vice, etc.) in the Georgia Republican Party and have a voice and vote in the actions of the executive committee?

          • UpHere says:

            Wait, didn’t you move to David Ralston’s district this spring, one in which you have never lived in, to try to influence an election??? What a Republican elitist.

  12. debbie0040 says:

    It is not about whether David Clark would do a good or bad job. It is the process and hypocrisy regarding local control. Some of you seem to have a the end justifies the means mentality. I don’t. Sometimes the means can taint the end result. David Clark could make a fine Representative but he is tainted by the process. I had people sending me messages this morning and there were potential challengers to Mr. Clark in 2016 that contacted me outraged about what happened.

    • Salmo says:

      Ms. Dooley, my family has a few rental properties located within HD 98. If you would like, I can pass along your contact info and tell them you will be looking to take up temporary residence to make it your personal goal to primary Clark. I hear that sort of thing has been quite productive for you in the past.

      You know, it is funny…I was never a big fan of Josh Clark as Wayne Hill is a family friend. But your reaction to David Clark’s nomination automatically makes me like him a little. You’re sort of like the right’s version of Vincent Fort for me. If I don’t know where to fall on an issue, I generally just go with the opposite of what he’s saying. You two certainly have a knack for finding cameras and microphones and making yourselves out to be much more powerful than you actually are. Have the two of y’all considered some sort of bipartisan alliance? You could call it “The Committee to Attempt to be a Royal Pain in the Ass to Any Sane Person in Government”. I smell a winner.

  13. PegM says:

    Clarification: Josh clark just didn’t “decide not to run for re-election” His job transferred him to California. He has a family to support and it can’t be done on state house wages along. The state GOP didn’t say “screw you to the local activists”! For crying out loud David Clark is a local too! He was nominated by our ELECTED state committee woman. His resume competed with Hancock’s when the state committee looked at nominees and he was found to be the best choice. Methinks the local “sub committee” was doing their own “club politics”. In the end the citizenry has a great candidate…let it rest.

  14. Harry says:

    With all due respect, we’re fighting a rearguard action in Gwinnett. In 2 or 4 years the county swings Democratic, and we Republicans are back in the minority as before. So whether you’re in this ring or that faction is not relevant.

  15. drjay says:

    ” I had people sending me messages this morning and there were potential challengers to Mr. Clark in 2016 that contacted me outraged about what happened.”

    is this supposed to be some kind of threat of things to come, because you, like, rock at primarying folks, or whatever–seriously, anyone who ascends to an elected office by appt. should reasonably expect challenges from his party and/or the other when he stands for election…that’s kind of the point of elections…in mr. clarks case he has two years to earn people’s respect and votes or not…

    oh, and 5 people that may want to run for the seat themselves calling and complaining about the process is not data…

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