Once the final gavel fell on the 14th District Republican Convention, I said to a few friends “Thank God and Greyhound” (quoting the Roy Clark song). I didn’t run for re-election for district chairman. I have my reasons, the most important one being my wife Samantha and I welcoming our first child, Lucas Todd Smith, into the world this August. You can read my chairman’s report to my district Convention at the end of this post. I still have final paperwork to do to wrap up my term as chairman, including sending a copy of the resolution our district passed honoring the life of Jon Richards to his family, but it’s nice to have a weight lifted and focus on other important things….like building baby registries which we did yesterday.
There were a few district chairmen who decided not to run for another term, so there will be a lot of new faces on the GAGOP Executive Committee. I believe they earn an appreciation for the process. You tend to see things in a different light, so if you’re a new chairman or officer in the Georgia Republican Party structure, just remember to listen more than you speak.
Here are the district chairmen for the 2017-2019 term (thanks to Joseph Brannan for the list):
- 1st District: William John Wood
- 2nd District: Joseph Brannan
- 3rd District: Mike Crane (former state senator and GA3 candidate)
- 4th District: Rachel Little
- 5th District: John Bush
- 6th District: Darryl Wilson
- 7th District: Jason Thompson
- 8th District: Chris West
- 9th District: Bruce Azevedo
- 10th District: Brian Burdette
- 11th District: Brad Carver (re-elected by 6 votes)
- 12th District: Buck Moon
- 13th District: Matt Stout
- 14th District: Ed Painter
Congratulations to our district chairs, and good luck. Disunity and disharmony within the Party is the 800 lb elephant (no pun intended) in the room. I hope that they will work with our state party and our county parties to bridge the divide that has been widening over the past number of years. It’s going to be a tough task, and they will need a lot of support.
As promised, here are my final remarks to the 14th District Republican Party of Georgia Convention:
Ladies and gentlemen,
As you know, I’m not running for re-election. The chapter of my service in Republican leadership is coming to a close. It’s been an honor to serve our district and state for the past two years.
Stepping into the district leadership as a newly-married man taught me a lot about priorities. Now as I exit, my wife Samantha and I will be welcoming our first child, Lucas Todd Smith, into the world 4 months from today [April 22]…give or take a few days.
What we do today will affect the future of our Party and state. We’ve had a tumultuous election and were victorious in putting a Republican into the White House with President Donald Trump and maintaining our majorities in Congress.
We won last year when the odds didn’t appear to be in our favor. We won, but we don’t need to rest on our laurels. A new generation is coming of age, and we need to realize that priorities will change over the coming years. We must analyze those priorities and apply our conservative principles to help craft policy that will address those priorities. While our priorities, as a Party, will change, our principles must not.
The leadership you elect today will have some guidance on what the future will look like. Regardless of the outcome, we must realize that this Party is bigger than any one person or personality. We must exit here today with the commitment to work together rather than against. We must commit ourselves to treat each other with respect even thought we may not see eye-to-eye on each issue.
Today I lay down my title as “Chairman” and prepare myself to take up the title as “dad come August. A title that I will have for the rest of my days. I don’t know where my journey will take me next politically. I plan on continuing to be involved with GeorgiaPol, but I’ll be reducing my involvement with the Republican Party. It’s time. I’ve been a leader in some Republican organization for the past 13 years. It’s time for someone else to take the reins of leadership to guide us into the 2018 elections.
I’m sure that I will see a lot of you in the years to come in some form or fashion whether it be in person or online. To quote my good friend Charlie Harper, publisher of GeorgiaPol, I look forward to seeing some of you; others, not so much.
Good luck, and may God bless us.
Feel free to let us know what happened around the state at the various district conventions in the comments.