Charlie Harper has a large sphere of influence in Georgia politics. When he speaks, people tend to listen. I believe he understands his influence but still takes time to guide people who are just starting out. I remember when he first chatted with me when I was a college kid. The first time I met Charlie in person was at the first Roadshow in Savannah before the ’09 GAGOP convention. I tagged along with him and a couple of others to the hospitality suites across the river. I just graduated college and was still learning.
Soon after, I became Walker GOP Chairman. He even came up for a Victory Dinner on a rainy Tuesday night in northwest Georgia (and later met IHOP Donna). About a year later, he asked if I wanted to start writing for the blog.
Fast forward to now, Charlie continues to carry a lot, if not more, influence in Georgia politics (and now knows two Donnas in the Chattanooga metro area). He’s got a bigger sphere of influence, but he’s still down to earth. I’m glad to have him as a mentor and friend (plus, Samantha really likes him, so I know that’s a big deal).
He, and our late Editor-in-Chief Jon Richards, have worked to grow our unique platform in the political world from a sounding board/clearinghouse of Georgia politics to an influential voice of discussing what’s going on in the Georgia political scene.
That’s why I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Georgia Association of College Republicans’ Jon Richards Public Service award than our own publisher. Charlie was presented with the award by the Georgia Association of College Republicans at their banquet tonight. I believe it’s a testament to the impact that both he and Jon have had on those who are up-and-coming in the political world.