Chairman’s Update – May 31, 2012
Dear Fellow Republicans,
It has been a busy couple of weeks in the political world. First, the next President of the United States, Mitt Romney, captured enough delegates in the Texas primary on Tuesday to become the official nominee-in-waiting. As he emailed his supporters that night, “Now all Republicans can move forward toward our convention in Tampa. There, we will stand united as a party with a winning ticket for America. Ours will be a campaign to unite every American who knows in his or her heart that we can do better.” Amen.
With regard to the Tampa convention, I wanted to personally congratulate those members of our party who were elected as either delegates or alternates to the national convention by either the 4th, 7th, or 10th district, or state conventions: Gloria Tow, Rachel Little, Jason Thompson, Joan Zellner, Judy Bailey, Debbie Dooley, Heather Alvarez, Julianne Thompson, BJ Van Gundy, and Bill Reynolds. (If I missed anyone who was elected at the state convention, I apologize, but the state GOP hasn’t officially released that list yet.) You will not find a more outstanding group of people to represent the conservative principles we all hold dear with our brethren from across the nation in Tampa. In addition to that group of long-time GOP members, a high honor was recently bestowed on two of our most active members, Kathy Hildebrand and Julianne Thompson, as they were both named to serve as Mitt Romney “electors” for the Electoral College in December. This means that if Governor Romney carries Georgia (which we know he will!), Kathy and Julianne will be part of the group of 16 people from across the state to officially name him the Georgia victor at the State Capitol after the election. Congratulations to both of you!
As most of you know, last week was also “qualifying week” for candidates wishing to run for local, state, or federal office. I am pleased to say that at the local level, several of our Republican elected officials were completely unopposed, indicating to me a general level of satisfaction with their job performance. Commission Chair Charlotte Nash was unopposed in both the primary and general election for her first full term (and will be speaking at our monthly breakfast rally this Saturday, June 2nd – more on that below), and District Attorney Danny Porter, Sheriff Butch Conway, Chief Magistrate George Hutchinson, and Tax Commissioner Richard Steele were also unopposed for re-election. Congratulations to these GOP elected officials on their new terms. In addition, several members of our state legislative delegation went completely unopposed, including Senators Fran Millar, David Shafer, and Renee Unterman, and Representatives Josh Clark, Buzz Brockway, Brett Harrell, BJ Pak, Donna Sheldon, and David Casas. The degree to which the Gwinnett Democrats failed to find challengers for many of our fine elected officials just shows how far they have to go as an organization to compete in this county.
We will have a few internal GOP primary battles to be resolved July 31 (or in a subsequent runoff), for U.S. Congress Districts 4, 7, and 10, as well as State Senate District 9, State House Districts 81, 96, 97, 103, 105, and 114, and on the local level, Probate Judge and County Commission Districts 1 and 3. We look forward to hearing from all Republican candidates about why they believe they would be the best choice to carry the GOP banner into the November election (or in some cases, into office, as many of those GOP primaries have no Democrat candidate waiting).
Finally, there are several opportunities where we have Republican candidates running in November in seats that are very winnable for the GOP. For example, Gwinnett County can potentially make a momentous difference to our state government if we pick up competitive open seats in House Districts 81 (Norcross area into DeKalb County) and 105 (Grayson and Lawrenceville areas), and if we defeat longtime liberal Democrat Pedro Marin in District 96 (Norcross/Duluth). These are three of the dozen or so seats around the state that could determine whether the GOP has a constitutional majority in the state House after November. In addition, we are excited to have a very well-qualified educator and strong Republican, H.K. Dido, running against an incumbent party-switching Democrat in School Board District 5. We will work hard to pick up all these seats for the Republican Party this November, and maintain the seats we already have by defending State Reps. Tom Rice and Valerie Clark and Superior Court Clerk Richard Alexander.
I hope that you are able to join us this Saturday, June 2nd, at 550 Trackside (550 N. Clayton St., Lawrenceville) for our monthly breakfast rally, featuring special guest Chairman Charlotte Nash. She will bring us up to date on the most recent county issues, and we will also take time to hear from all of our GOP candidates, particularly those who are newly announced. Breakfast and/or coffee can be purchased for a nominal price, and doors open at 7:45 a.m. with the program at 8:30. Also, mark your calendars for both the Gwinnett GOP headquarters clean-up and cookout on Thursday, June 14 at 6:00 p.m., where we will put finishing touches on our office space heading into November, and for the Gwinnett GOP Judicial Candidates Forum on Monday, June 25, at GJAC. We will hear from the candidates for Probate Court, State Court, and Superior Court.
Thanks to all those who came out to support the GOP in the Dacula Memorial Day Parade, to honor those who gave their all in defense of our liberty. We had a great turnout, including Rep Brett Harrell, Rep. Josh Clark, Rep. Valerie Clark, Timothy Barr, Mark Gorman, Mark Williams, Don Butler, Scott and Sally Haggard, Gloria Tow, Dennis Keye, Judy Bailey, Rich Carithers, Heather Alvarez, Jerry Brimberry, Rodney Upton, H.K. Dido, Dave Emanuel, Chris McClurg, Congressman Paul Broun and his wife, Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, Jerry Oberholtzer, Mike Korom, School Board Member Carole Boyce, Chris Ballar, Marlene Duwell, Karl Swab, Mike and Cindy Wheeler, Jeannie Mullins, and Laura Godfrey, among others. A special thanks goes to 2nd Vice Chair Jon Richards for driving his own truck to pull the GOP trailer (and some of our supporters!). If you haven’t checked out the great pictures on our Facebook page from the parade, take a look here.
Finally, I want to bring to your attention that we now have a vacancy in the office of Secretary on the Executive Committee, which we will be filling at our July 12th County Committee meeting. I encourage you to consider this position if you desire to have a greater level of involvement in the Gwinnett GOP’s activities.
On to November!