GAGOP Chair John Watson Makes Staff Changes

According to various emails, Facebook posts, and the AJC, several changes in staff have been made at the Georgia Republican Party. Chairman John Watson recently took over for outgoing Chair John Padgett, who did not seek re-election, after Watson’s victory at the GAGOP State Convention.

Carmen Foskey has been selected to serve as Executive Director to replace Adam Pipkin. Leigh Ann Gillis has been tapped as Finance Director. The AJC also reports that Brad Hughes, political director, and the GAGOP’s minority engagement team leaders, Leo Smith and Lisa Kinnemore, are no longer on staff.

I worked closely with Adam and Brad and I cannot thank them enough for their effort and support as I served as GA-12 Chair and as a grassroots volunteer. Their plan and execution for GA-12 in 2014 helped bring victory for Rep. Rick Allen against former Rep. John Barrow.

Outgoing Executive Director Adam Pipkin (via email):

“My time as the Executive Director for the GAGOP has come to an end. It has been a true pleasure to have worked alongside you over the last 4 years. I’ve had the unique opportunity to be a resource to a group of folks that sacrifice so much of their time, money and energy because they care deeply about their community, state and country. Your hard work and dedication to this Party is what makes the GAGOP a success.

I want to thank Chairman Padgett for his support, friendship and confidence in me. I also want to thank Brad Hughes, Karen Hentschel, Lisa Kinnemore, Ryan Mahoney, Anne Lewis and the 75 plus staff and interns that have worked so hard at the Party over the last 4 years.

When I started this job 4 years ago I had no idea I was going to make so many great friends in the process. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support, encouragement and friendship during my time at the GAGOP.

Over the years I have asked for your help on a regular basis, especially around election time. Today, for my last official request, I ask that you support Chairman Watson and his administration 110%. This is a very tough job and it’s even tougher when you don’t have all Republicans working towards the same goal. I have known Chairman Watson for several years and after working closely with him during his transition and on the CD 6th race, I have complete confidence that he will do great things during his time as Chairman of the GAGOP.”

Outgoing Political Director Brad Hughes (via Facebook on Friday, July 7, 2017):

“Today is my last day as Political Director of the Georgia Republican Party (as well as Adam’s & Lisa’s). I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me to work with you and your predecessors during the last four years. First, I want to thank Chairman John Padgett for taking a chance and hiring a far right, small government, anti tax, fanatically prolife, profamily Baptist preacher boy from Southwest Georgia. For those in that camp, you know you have had a staunch advocate at the State GOP. I also want to thank Adam Pipkin, Karen Wagstaff Hentschell, Lisa Carr Kinnemore and all the staff and interns (current and former) who made our success possible. I sincerely love all of you.

So many of you in the Republican Party have become more than political acquaintances. You’ve become close personal friends. I’ve been to weddings and funerals. I’ve been there when some of your children were born. And you’ve been there for me in a big way. I have no idea what my future holds but I treasure the relationships and look forward to making many more memories with you.

I also want to thank Ginger Howard for being the most loving and supportive friend and Kevin Cooke for his brotherhood and for helping me pack my office. Best of the best folks. Best of the best. And I don’t deserve them at all.

I wish the new Chairman and his administration all the best and thank them for their kindness during the transition. And again, I thank you for the opportunity to serve you. You’ll never know what it’s meant to me to fight alongside you for our conservative values.”

 

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