The Georgia Republican State Convention gaveled to an end Saturday afternoon with all its business completed (thank goodness). There were some tense moments during voting, but all in all, it was an enjoyable convention. I’ll take some time to share some of my observations were of what happened on the convention floor.
- There was concern over the secret ballot vs. stand, rise, and be counted method of voting. Personally, I don’t care to show who I support. We represent Republicans from our respective counties, so I believe we should be public. I know there are those who disagree, and that’s fine. You can look at it this way, a number of people supporting a secret ballot and concerned about intimidation and retribution were wearing lapel stickers of officer candidates. I’d say around 60 to 70% of convention goers had lapel stickers on, so an overwhelming majority must not have been all that concerned about ramifications of their support.
- There was a lot of talk of “fear of retribution” if one candidate won over another. I don’t believe I was ever “intimidated” or anything while i was Chairman in Walker County, and I don’t believe (since I’m on the state executive committee) I would have been if Alex had won for supporting John over him. We have to remember we’re on the same team working toward a similar goal: electing Republicans.
- The AJC made a seemingly big ordeal to point out that one of our new state officers is gay. I talked to a few other fellow delegates and we had the same thought: big deal. I believe that’s a thought that is becoming more prominent among Republicans. What you do behind closed doors is your business. I don’t believe race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever will be or should be a deciding factor on whether someone can serve the public as an elected official or a party official.
- On RFRA, there were a few Republicans that didn’t agree with passing a resolution in supporting it without an anti-discrimination clause in it. Well, if you think about it, if there is a business owner who wants to decrease his customer base by not serving people who are gay, a different religion, or whatever, then free market forces will probably ensure that he or she isn’t in business for very long. Just a thought though.
- It disturbs me that there are delegates who are willing to publicly accuse us of using “Stalin-like” tactics, being like the Mafia, and other ridiculous charges. I believe Randy Evans did a fantastic job of granting ample time of people being heard while maintaining order to let those opinions and questions be heard. If we were being totalitarian as some people I know accuse us of being, then the vote would have been a lot closer secret ballot or not. These charges are baseless, but I’m sure they will continue to try to shout them in order for their faction to be relevant (in their own mind…or something).
- I voted for the minority report from the credentials committee to not seat Newton County. I don’t know the specifics, but it seems to me that precincts who elect delegates to the county convention should not be put to a litmus test by the existing county committee. I believe it goes against the convention call of the Georgia Republican Party, and, in my opinion, I believe the Newton County GOP rules should be changed to allow folks who agree with our Republican Party principles to freely participate as delegates in county conventions without regard to service.
I know there were some friends who didn’t support the same people that I did, and that’s ok. I still like them and call them friends. Sometimes our emotions run high, and I know they were high yesterday as we conducted business on the floor. For those who didn’t win, rest for a bit, keep your chin up, and let’s work to continue to lay the groundwork to elect Republicans next year and for years to come.