As most folks know, the GAGOP convention cycle is here. Counties with over 80,000 in population have already held their precinct mass meetings, and the bulk of counties will hold their conventions next weekend. However, a change in the call allows for counties to change the date and time of their convention within a certain window, so there are a smattering of counties who have chosen to do it prior to next Saturday. Check with your local GOP to see when and where.
Since this is a year we elect new leadership, I believe it’s an obligation of chairmen of both county and district Republican Party organizations to allow declared candidates, or their surrogates, for the state GOP chairmanship be allowed to address the convention if they so desire. It’s especially important since it’s at the county convention where delegates to the state convention are elected.
I have heard from a friend of mine who is a surrogate for Michael McNeely that at least one county chairman, Ron Johnson in Jackson County, won’t let other candidates or surrogates, other than his preferred pick of John Watson, address the county convention. Although, I’m sure that my friend will have the ability to talk to delegates and alternates at the county convention during recesses (it is a public meeting), I believe it does the county convention a disservice by not allowing other candidates or surrogates to address them and present their ideas to grow the Georgia Republican Party in a more formal manner.
As a county chairman and now as district chairman, I have tried to be fair when it comes to elections and give candidates equal billing when I could. County and district chairmen should work to give access to candidates for their local Republicans so that they can make an informed decision when voting for chairman. I believe it’s the right thing to do.