Today, members of the Georgia Republican Party State Committee gathered in Warner Robbins to make a few decisions. Some of those decisions involved resolutions that were left upon the table from the state convention earlier this year. This was also the first meeting of the state committee where new GAGOP Chairman John Watson took the helm.
There was a perceived air of division going into the meeting where committee members would decide upon whether or not Republican gubernatorial candidates would need to sign a pledge to sign a RFRA bill passed by a future legislature into law if they became governor. Although there was much debate, a compromise of the language, including removal of a signed pledge, was reached between Chairman Watson and 3rd District Chairman Mike Crane. Crane, you may recall, tends to be on the anti-establishment side of the Party.
The state committee is setting the tone of 2018 with a focus on morality and social issues with the adoption of a resolution that supports passage of RFRA legislation that at least models the federal law and a resolution that rejects casinos in Georgia, but I believe there is a bigger takeaway from today. That takeaway is Chairman Watson was able show that he is willing to work with the different factions within the Party. From Debbie Whelchel, a state committeewoman from Gwinnett County:
I truly hope that our new GAGOP chairman is able to help bridge the divide in our Party. Today’s meeting sounds positive in terms of leadership of the GAGOP, and that’s a good thing.
If you’re interested in watching the proceedings of the meeting, you can check out the recording of the live stream that Denise Burns, committeewoman from Catoosa County, aired on Periscope.