HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County sheriff candidates and coroner contestants attended the February meeting of the Towns County Republican Party, Feb. 27. Each candidate was permitted five minutes to present an introduction speech to GOP members and visiting constituents. Newcomer to the sheriff’s race, Craig Earon, publicly announced candidacy at the Republican forum. Although present, sheriff’s contender Linda Curtis declined the invitation to address voters, explaining to FYN that she was advised against “partisan party affiliation and lobbying” by her federal employer prior to supervisory approval next week.
Towns County coroner candidate Tamela Cooper, who holds a degree in moratory science, was first to speak. The funeral home owner-director serves as a deputy coroner under Towns County Coroner Harold Copeland. “Since my initial training in 2013, I have attended six different annual, in-service trainings, and have taken both of their specialty classes, personalized classes. in photography and blood splatter,” Cooper said in part. “I have worked over 150 cases in the Towns County coroner’s office, and I’ve cared for over 750 decedents at my funeral home. I have worked everything from heart attacks, strokes, and car accidents, suicides, drug overdoses, and unfortunately, child fatalities. And I use the knowledge I gained in college courses and seven years I have in experience on every case I step on…If we were standing here tonight and talking about a fire chief position, you would not see me here…One of the things I do want to bring to light is that as it stands right now if we were to have a mass fatality situation, we have a fire chief and a coroner that would be working both search and rescue and fatalities. Those two positions, in my belief, need to be different. One person can’t possibly handle all of that if we were to have that situation in our town.”
Towns County Coroner Harold “H” Copeland followed. Copeland ran unopposed in 2016, securing the seat without competition. The fire chief stated that he initially decided to run for office based on past wait time for a coroner to arrive on the scene. “The coroner business is a brutal business,” Copeland said. “It’s like (Cooper) said when we come to your house; I’ve worked four cases this month, that’s four cases too many. And it’s not fun when we come to your house because somebody’s grandpa, somebody’s mama, somebody’s child is there. So I believe in getting in there and treating the family with respect, moving on about what has to be done, and calling Cochran’s or Banister’s which leads me to another deal,” Copeland said, falling short of alleging that Cooper’s position as a funeral home director may constitute a conflict of interest.
Towns County sheriff candidates next addressed the full house.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jim Couch alphabetically led the preliminary forum. Couch began by recounting his law enforcement experience which began in 1978, including success with youth cadet involvement. “Here, I’d love to start that same program. It’s real easy to do…,” Couch said. “Now I’m with the Towns County Sheriff’s Office. I’m a captain. Right now I supervise 18 personnel. That’s patrol, investigations, school resource officers, court services. All those personnel, I do supervise. Four more are part-timers. Before that in White County, I supervised up to 30 personnel. I know how to supervise folks.” Couch, who announced candidacy following Sheriff Chris Clinton’s withdraw from re-election, said that officers enjoy working under his leadership because he does not “yell” at them. “I support my people, and I’ll do what I need to help those people advance in their career to meet their goal.” Couch concluded by stating that he is not looking inside the sheriff’s office, rather, he is within the sheriff’s office looking forward.
Craig Earon, the newest sheriff’s candidate, followed Couch. “Five years ago my wife and I moved here to Hiawassee from Gainesville, GA. We found this location to be paradise,” Earon began. “I’ve been retired for seven years and, of course, I get underfoot at the house and my wife wanted me to find something else to do, and I am running for sheriff. I have a background working with most of the federal agencies; FBI, NSA, the U.S. Patent Trade Office, primarily security stuff for their systems. I’ve always enjoyed my work with long hours and never afraid to put in the extra hours necessary.” Earon said that his work history includes Fortune 500 employment, and explained that his law enforcement experience consisted of assisting an officer with warrant delivery in Norcross, GA. “I’m a quick learner. I do not have a law enforcement background, but I can tell you, I’m a quick study and I’m willing to put the hours in to get it done…When I heard that Chris Clinton was leaving, I wanted to at least throw my hat in to try to fill the void, and I believe I can do that.” Earon closed with a Ronald Reagan quote on law enforcement.
Next up was sheriff’s contender Kenneth “Ode” Henderson. “If I’m elected your sheriff, I want to make sure that our officers are getting at least 40 hours of training each year,” Henderson said. “Now, Georgia only mandates that we do 20 hours, but I want to make sure we do at least 40. I hope that we can do more than that.” The Young Harris College police chief noted implementing “community-orientated type training,” along with the continuation of CLEA. Henderson stated that he plans to work in cooperation with local and surrounding law enforcement agencies, and intends to maintain state accreditation. The sheriff’s candidate spoke on creating a local, anonymous drug hotline and applying funds from seizures as reward incentives. Henderson reiterated wanting to change the pattern of current patrol cars to black-and-white to increase visibility and the value of a cadet program. “I want to reach out to our young folks. I want to work with them. I’ve done that for 38 years and have wonderful rapport with our students in working with them and want to do that in Towns County with ours. I want to keep drugs away from them, and we’re going to hire professional drug agents…If you’re selling drugs in Towns County, Towns County Sheriff’s Office is coming for you, and I promise you that. That will be our number one priority.” Henderson assured that he will enact an open-door policy if elected.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Lisa Joseph addressed constituents. “I do not bring as many years of experience to the road as some of my opponents,” Joseph explained. “What I do bring to the table is I have two Master’s degrees. I have a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Education, and you may ask yourself, what does that mean to you? What it should mean to you is that I can teach law enforcement as it applies today.” Joseph claimed that if law enforcement is conducted the way it was in past decades, it could lead to “lawsuits or jail time,” adding that a “fresh” approach is needed. “Law enforcement changed and we have to be able to change with it.” The patrol deputy said that animal control is an issue raised regularly in the community. “That’s a simple issue that all of us, including the commissioner’s office, can work together to have animal control,” Joseph said, moving on to say that she intends to retain the “high standards” within the sheriff’s office, including state accreditation.
Lastly, sheriff candidate Daren “Bear” Osborn took the podium. “I’ve lived here in Towns County my entire life, born and raised here. I’ve been in law enforcement for 33 years,” Osborn began, listing experience serving with several departments and education in management and supervisor training. “I know why many of you moved here…We, as citizens of Towns County, want to keep our county safe, do we not? That’s why we moved here, and I am running for sheriff to keep this county safe. We have crime. It’s no secret. We have crime everywhere, and we’re going to attend to that problem. Drugs are our number one problem here in the county, and when you have drugs, you have thefts and burglaries. I’m an investigator in Union County at this time, lieutenant over property crimes,” Osborn said. “You have it in Towns County, you have it in Union County. I am, when elected sheriff, going to get back into the drug task force, actively. I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and let drugs take over this beautiful community.” Osborn acknowledged that opponent Henderson is equally passionate on the subject of drug enforcement. “Either one of us are going after the drugs. I guarantee you.” Osborn shared that his brother was killed in a car accident, the result of a driver being under the influence of drugs. “You can say it’s personal. Yeah, it’s personal. I don’t like drugs. I don’t like drivers that’s on the road drinking. I’m not going to tolerate that.” Osborn added that our youth is our future, and vowed to work “day and night” to “stop the problem we have here.”
Retiring Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton did not attend the meeting.
All contenders plan to run on the Republican ticket in the General Primary, May 19.
A sheriff candidates’ forum is scheduled Saturday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at Towns County Schools. Doors open at 5 p.m. Official qualification takes place the week of March 2, 2020.
HIAWASSEE, Ga.- As qualifying quickly approaches, five Towns County sheriff candidates and two coroner candidates are scheduled to briefly address the Towns County Republican Party on Thursday, Feb. 27. The monthly GOP meeting, which typically meets on the third Thursday of each month, was rescheduled due to winter weather conditions.
House Representative and the U.S. Congressional candidate Matt Gurtler was invited to speak at the canceled session, and according to the GOP, cannot attend on the alternate date due to a scheduling conflict.
In addition to hearing from the county candidates, Towns County Republican Chair Betsy Young informed FYN that the meeting will feature opening exercises by local students, along with a discussion on the Precinct Caucus and County Convention.
Towns County sheriff candidates, listed in the order of their announcement to seek office, are as follow:
- Daren “Bear’ Osborn
- Kenneth “Ode” Henderson
- Linda J. Curtis
- Jim Couch
- Lisa Joseph
Towns County coroner candidates are:
- Harold Copeland – incumbent
- Tamela Cooper
All candidates intend to run on the Republican primary ticket, May 19. No Democratic candidates have announced intent to seek office in Towns County at the time of publication. Office of the Commissioner, Tax Commissioner, Probate Judge, and Clerk of Court remain uncontested thus far. Official qualification for candidacy, however, takes place during the week of March 2.
“The Towns County Republican Party does not endorse any candidate or candidate’s committee in a contested Republican Primary,” Young stated.
The Feb. 27 meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Towns County Civic Center, adjacent to the Towns County Courthouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.
“The Changes to the By-laws or Rules as referred to from now on, of the Republican Party of Towns County, are presented below, per requirement to be voted on the following meeting, March 19, 2020,” GOP Chair Young stated in an email.
RULES OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TOWNS COUNTY, INC.
As adopted on
ARTICLE I – GENERAL
1. Code: Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. §183-1, et seq., as existing at the time of adoption of these Rules and as may be amended from time to time.
2. County Committee: As defined in Article II.C, below.
3. Executive Committee: As defined in Article II.D, below.
4. Georgia GOP Rules: The Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, Inc., as existing at the time of adoption of these Rules and as may be amended from time to time.
5. National GOP Rules: The Rules of the Republican National Committee, as existing at the time of adoption of these rules and as may be amended from time to time.
6. Ninth District Rules: The Ninth District Republic Party of Georgia Rules, as existing at the time of adoption of these Rules and as may be amended from time to time.
7. Quorum: As defined in Article II.J.3, below.
8. Rules: These Rules of the Republican Party of Towns County, Inc.
9. TCGOP: The Republican Party of Towns County, Inc., a Georgia nonprofit corporation
10. TCGOP Beliefs: Those certain beliefs enumerated in Article I.B.2 herein.
B. Mission and TCGOP Beliefs:
1. Mission. The purpose of the TCGOP is to elect Republicans to public office; identify, recruit, cultivate and support Republican candidates for elective office and conservative candidates for nonpartisan offices; promote conservative values in local, state and national communities; promote the TCGOP Beliefs; and carry out the legal direction of the district, state and national Republican organizations.
2. TCGOP Beliefs. The TCGOP believes in:
a. The U.S. Constitution, as written;
b. States’ rights;
c. a limited roll for government intervention into individuals’ work for prosperity
d. the right to life, from conception to natural death;
e. the idea that each person is responsible for his/her own place within society;
f. the Voter Identification Law;
g. one vote for one legal voter within the framework of the electoral college;
h. the idea that every legal American citizen has a right to vote and for his/her vote to count;
i. the notion that English should be America’s primary language, spoken and written;
j. a strong hand against human trafficking;
k. a strong stance against sharia law;
l. supporting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and
m. supporting our military, law enforcement and first responders.
C. Qualifications for Participation in Party Action: All qualified voters under the laws of the State of Georgia who are residents of Towns County, Georgia, and are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, believe in its declaration of policy and are in agreement with its aims and purposes, may participate as members of the TCGOP in the Conventions and caucuses of the Republican Party in their respective jurisdictions. All Chairmen and Members of Committees, Delegates and Alternates to Conventions and voters in caucuses, provided for in these Rules, shall be members of the TCGOP and must be qualified, registered voters of the respective precincts which they represent and shall have signed a declaration of identification with the Republican Party.
D. Relation of State and County Rules: These Rules are adopted pursuant to the Georgia GOP Rules. Should any of these Rules conflict with or be incompatible with the Georgia GOP Rules, the Georgia GOP Rules shall control.
E. State Election Laws: These Rules, where appropriate, shall be subject to the Code. Terms used but not defined herein shall have the definitions ascribed thereto in the Code.
ARTICLE II – COUNTY ORGANIZATION
A. NAME: The name of the organization shall be the Republican Party of Towns County, Inc., herein referred to as the “TCGOP”.
B. Membership of the TCGOP: The TCGOP shall consist of the County Committee, the Executive Committee and such other members-at-large as shall qualify under these Rules. The TCGOP may, upon a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, enlarge the Executive Committee as additional Republicans are elected to office and as additional precincts become organized. Use of the word “chairman” is intended to refer to either sex.
C. County Committee: The County Committee may consist of any or all of the following members, with a minimum of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer:
- County Chairman
- First Vice Chairman
- Second Vice Chairman
- Third Vice Chairman
- District Chairmen (one from each Commission District)
- Assistant Secretary
- Assistant Treasurer
- Immediate Past County Chairman
- Chairman, Elections
- Chairman, Membership Committee
- Chairman, Communications
- Chairman, Headquarters Operations
- Director of Community Outreach
- Chairman, Community Relations
- Chairman, Rules Committee
- Chairman, Resource Development Committee
- Precinct Chairmen, from each organized Precinct
- Authorized Voting Members: All individuals listed below qualify as members of the TCGOP and may participate in its business, upon oral or written notification to the Secretary:
- All previous Chairmen of the County Committee;
- the present and all past Chairmen of the Ninth Congressional District Republican Committee provided that they are residents of Towns County;
- the present and all past Chairmen of the Georgia Republican Party provided that they are residents of Towns County;
- Georgia GOP State Committee Members residing in Towns County;
- incumbent Republican public office holders within Towns County; and
- the Presidents/Chairmen of any Towns County Area Young Republican Clubs, Federation of Republican Women’s Clubs, Black Republican Councils, or College Republican Clubs which are sanctioned by their respective State and National Organization and provided they are residents of Towns County.
22. Members-at-Large: Shall be admitted upon their signature of their membership card acknowledging their accordance with the TCGOP Beliefs and payment in full of their annual dues.
D. Executive Committee of the TCGOP: There shall be an Executive Committee of the TCGOP composed of members listed in Article II.C.1 through II.C.21. The Executive Voting members shall include those listed in Article II.C.1 through II.C.11. (The Assistant Secretary and the Assistant Treasurer shall only have voting rights in the absence of the Secretary and the Treasurer). The County Chairman shall be the Chairman of the Executive Committee. At the call of the Chairman, the Executive Committee shall conduct the routine business of the TCGOP and act in emergencies when there would not be adequate time to convene the full membership of the TCGOP.t the routine business of the
E. Election of the TCGOP Officers: All persons holding office as listed in Article II.C.1. through II.C.9, as well as the Delegates and Alternates to the District and State Conventions, shall be nominated and elected at the County Convention held pursuant to the call of the Georgia State Republican Committee subject to the following exceptions:
1. District Chairmen: Within the four-week period following the Precinct Caucuses held pursuant to the State Call in each District, or within the four-week period following a vacancy created for any reason, the elected Precinct Chairmen from the precincts in that District shall meet to elect a resident of that District to be the District Chairman to serve on the TCGOP. If no election has been held prior to the County Convention, this election may be held during a recess of the County Convention. If a reasonable effort to fill the TCGOP District Chairman position for a particular District fails, the position may be filled from members of other Districts.
2. From the electorate of Towns County, the County Chairman may appoint a person to be Counsel to the Party (who shall also be a nonvoting member of the County Committee and Executive Committee) and persons to be Chairmen of the following Committees, or such other Committees as may be appropriate:
- Communications/Public Relations: (Shall maintain the TCGOP webpage and membership e-mail roster. Shall send out communication as directed by the TCGOP Chairman. Shall post updates on TCGOP Facebook Page.)
- Community Outreach: (Shall be responsible for organizing community outreach and attending local civic clubs and groups (such as the Rotary Club) on behalf of the party. Shall plan events to increase party membership.)
- Elections: (Shall work in conjunction with the Board of Elections related to election dates and candidate qualifying.)
- Headquarters Operations: (Shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of TCGOP Headquarters: volunteers, event preparation, mail. Shall be responsible for maintenance and repairs of the TCGOP Headquarters. Shall work in conjunction with the building landlord.)
- Membership: (Shall be responsible for member recruitment and membership roster.)
- Resource Development: (Shall be responsible for planning and coordinating fundraising activities for TCGOP.)
- Rules: (Shall be responsible for updating and maintaining the By-Laws for TCGOP.)
3. Precinct Chairmen: Elected at the caucuses
4. Authorized Voting Members: Become members upon proper notification to the TCGOP as outlined in Article II.C.21.
F. Election of County Members to the Ninth District Committee:
1. The total number of members elected shall be determined as specified in the Ninth District Rules, Article 1.1.
2. Pursuant to Article 2.2.B.4 of the Ninth District Rules, the County Chairman shall serve on the Ninth District Executive Committee; unless said Chairman otherwise declines not to serve in writing to the District Secretary.
3. Pursuant to Article 2 of the Ninth District Rules, additional members may be added. These members shall be elected by the County Chairman and an interim Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee Members shall be appointed every odd-year to serve an interim period (to only conduct the business of this committee), by the County Chairman as follows: consisting of members from the Executive Committee and the members-at-large.
4. Members shall be elected, each odd year, to the Ninth District Committee for a two-year term. Any vacancies may be filled at the discretion of the County Chairman with the approval of the Executive Committee.
G. Term of Office of the TCGOP: The officers and members of the TCGOP shall be elected for a term of two years or until their successors are duly elected. Officers (as listed in Article II.C.1- 4, and 6 – 9) may serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms in the same position.
H. Vacancies on the TCGOP:
- A vacancy is deemed to exist upon the happening of any one of the following:
- Failure to be a voter of Towns County.
- Failure of the voters in a precinct to organize.
- Failure of the Precinct Chairmen in organized precincts to elect a District Chairman.
- Extended failure to act. Such failure shall be determined by a two-thirds majority vote of a quorum present at any duly called meeting of the TCGOP. Provided, however, that the individual involved is given notice of such meeting mailed at least 30 days in advance thereof, setting forth the grounds therefore, and is given an opportunity to be present and heard in person. Extended failure to act as used herein shall include continued failure to perform his/her duties or participate in the affairs of the Party, or conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Party, all as may be determined by the aforesaid vote of the TCGOP.
- A vacancy shall include any office not filled by the County Convention.
- Vacancies in any of the offices comprising the Executive Committee, with the exception of the District Chairmen and the immediate Past Chairman of the TCGOP, shall be filled by election at a regular or special meeting of the TCGOP.
- Vacancies in the office of the District Chairman or Precinct Chairman in organized or unorganized precincts shall be filled by eligible persons appointed by the Executive Committee on an interim basis. At the next regular or special meeting of the TCGOP, such an appointment shall be confirmed as a member of the TCGOP by a majority vote of those present.
- Upon the happening of any of the events described above or the certification by a duly licensed physician that the County Chairman is incapable to act or conduct the usual and ordinary business of the County Party, such certification is to be referred to the County Party, such certification is to be referred to the TCGOP for action. In the event that the TCGOP takes action to remove the Chairman, the First Vice Chairman shall assume the duties and position of County Chairman. Should the First Vice Chairman decline to accept the position of Chairman, he/she shall call a special meeting of the TCGOP for the purpose of electing a new Chairman. The First Vice Chairman would continue to serve until the end of his term.
- Vacancies in any of the Committee Chairmen positions appointed by the County Chairman, as listed in Article II.E.2, shall be replaced at the discretion of the County Chairman with the approval of the Executive Committee.
I. Removal from Office
1. TCGOP Members: any member listed in Article II.C.1 through II.C.22 may be removed from office or membership for cause by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, by secret ballot, at any duly called meeting of the TCGOP; provided however, such individual must be given written notice of said meeting mailed or circulated by written electronic communication at least 30 days in advance thereof, setting forth the grounds for removal, and given the opportunity to be heard in person or by his/her representative. “Cause” as used herein shall include:
a. Failure to perform duties of his/her office for an unreasonable period of time, as determined by the Executive Committee with the approval of the TCGOP
b. Failure to participate in the affairs of the Party
c. Conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Party
d. Public service or professional service to any candidate in opposition to the official Republican candidate in a general election by an elected officer shall constitute conduct detrimental to the best interests of the party
2. As soon as an officer qualifies to run for an elected public office (including non-partisan races) for which at least one other Republican has also qualified, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned. Any officer who qualifies as a candidate for an elected public office (including non-partisan races) for which no other Republican has also qualified shall be deemed to have resigned immediately upon being elected to that office. As soon as an officer qualifies as a candidate for elected office as a candidate of any political party other than the Republican Party, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned all positions on the County, Municipal, Precinct, or other TCGOP governing committees.
3. Whenever the Executive Committee and TCGOP determine the Chairman or other officer is subject to removal for cause as defined in Article II.J.1.a. through d., or Article II.J.2, and remedial action has not been taken, and the 30-day notification period has expired, the TCGOP shall remove such Chairman or officer and shall appoint a new Chairman or officer. The Chairman or officer appointed shall perform the duties of the office until his/her successor is duly elected at a County Convention.
J. Meetings of the TCGOP:
1. Regular Meetings: The TCGOP shall hold regular meetings at least quarterly, but may hold monthly meetings, at the pleasure of the Chairman, generally on the third Thursday of each month. In case of a conflict, the Chairman may schedule the meeting on another day of the month. In the event of exceptional circumstances, the Executive Committee may cancel a scheduled meeting with immediate notice to all TCGOP Members. Notice of such meetings shall be emailed or mailed to all members of the TCGOP and mailed to members who do not have an email address on file at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting. As referred to in these Rules, these are considered to be regular meetings.
2. Special Meetings: The Chairman may call special meetings if he/she chooses to do so, provided proper notice as detailed in Article II.J.1 above is given. When requested in writing by at least 15% of the total membership of TCGOP, the Chairman must call a special meeting. Such special meeting must be held within 15 days of the receipt of the request by the Chairman. If, and only if, the meeting notice so specifies, other items of TCGOP business may be considered. Should the Chairman fail to call such a special meeting, then a mailed notice, signed by the 15% of the TCGOP members requesting said special meeting, shall constitute proper notice of the special meeting. Such notice shall specify the date, time, place and purpose of the special meeting. In the absence of the Chairman, the First Vice Chairman shall preside over this special meeting.
3. Quorum: A quorum is constituted upon the attendance of a majority of the members of the TCGOP at a meeting, in person or by proxy. We hereby acknowledge that one person may serve in multiple positions, however, there shall be a one person one vote rule. No more than a total of three proxies may be counted in order to establish a quorum.
- A member may direct his/her proxy to any other member of the TCGOP, except that no proxy may be directed to, or voted by, the Chairman.
- Members of the Executive Committee may direct his/her proxy only to another member of the Executive Committee.
- No TCGOP member may vote more than three proxies.
- No member may give his/her proxy more than four times during their term of office, unless, in the opinion of the TCGOP, good cause exists.
- Proxy blanks are to be included with the call to each meeting in the form set forth in the Ninth District rules.
J. Duties of the TCGOP: The TCGOP, in its entirety, shall call the County Conventions and Precinct Caucuses or County Primary, make arrangements therefore, fix the basis of representation by Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention consistent with the State Rules, and shall set the time and place for holding the County Convention. It shall cooperate with the State Committee and its Congressional District Committee in conducting all elections within its boundaries. The TCGOP shall decide all controversies and contests arising within its jurisdiction, with the right to appeal to the District Committee within 30 days after the decision by a petition signed by at least 25 qualified Republican electors of the political unit affected.
ARTICLE III – DUTIES OF OFFICERS, DISTRICT CHAIRMEN AND PRECINCT CHAIRMEN
- County Chairman:
- Is the Chief Executive Officer and spokesperson of the TCGOP and shall perform all duties required by these Rules.
- Shall convene the TCGOP as the Rules and needs of the Party dictate.
- Presides at all TCGOP meetings and all Executive Committee meetings.
- Appoints committees called for in the Rules and such other committees he/she may deem desirable.
- Shall appoint a presiding officer for Precinct caucuses in those instances when the Precinct Chairman is unable to attend.
- Presides at all County Conventions.
- Appoints interim County Convention committees and their respective Chairmen subject to the approval of the TCGOP.
- Is responsible for the general direction and affairs of the Party.
- Must review and approve all outgoing correspondence to be emailed, mailed or distributed to the TCGOP at large or to the public. The County Chairman may designate this duty from time-to-time to the First Vice Chairman to make such approvals.
All officers shall assist the County Chairman
C. First Vice Chairman
1. As provided for in the Rules, presides in the absence of the Chairman.
2. Shall assist the Treasurer with the Finance Committee and the Chairmen of the Rules, Resource Development, and Headquarters Operations Committees.
D. Second Vice Chairman. Shall assist the District Chairmen and the Chairmen of the Elections and Membership Committees.
E. Third Vice Chairman. Shall assist the Chairmen of the Community Outreach and Communications/Public Relations Committees.
F. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have the following responsibilities and duties:
1. Shall have custody and responsibility of the funds of the TCGOP, and shall deposit said funds in a bank selected by the Executive Committee. These funds may be drawn as prescribed or approved by the Executive Committee.
2. Shall collect and deposit all funds at least monthly.
3. Shall prepare all checks and sign them, together with one other Officer designated on the bank account. In the absence of the Treasurer, checks may be prepared by the Assistant Treasurer and signed by the Assistant Treasurer, together with the County Chairman or First Vice Chairman. No officer may sign a non-operational check in excess of $500 without the prior approval of the Executive Committee. No disbursements shall be made without an invoice, paid receipt or written request.
4. Shall make and keep an accurate record of all income and disbursements and have available at all Executive and TCGOP meetings a current financial report summarizing income, expense, assets and liabilities of the TCGOP.
5. Shall serve on the Resource Development Committee, as applicable. This committee, if formed, shall track financial status, provide oversight and prepare an annual budget for each new year for review and approval by the Executive Committee by December of the current year.
6. Shall, in the event the Executive Committee believes it to be in the best interest of the TCGOP, prepare an internal audit of the records of the Treasurer to be presented to the TCGOP, and shall work with all relevant Committees in the preparation of any such audit.
G. Assistant Treasurer. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Treasurer.
1. Shall maintain the lists of the Executive, County, District, and State Committee members, contributors, and the like, publish notices and other materials as required by the party rules and/or the Code. The Secretary shall also record the minutes of all Executive and TCGOP meetings including the date, identity of those in attendance, and a record of all actions taken. Executive Committee minutes should be emailed or mailed within ten (10) days. The Secretary shall also determine and announce the status of a quorum at all Executive and TCGOP meetings. The minutes from the most recent past county meeting shall be emailed or mailed with the notice of each upcoming official-call County meeting sent out by the County Chairman. All correspondence distributed to the Executive or TCGOP at large or the public must be approved by the County Chairman prior to distribution.
2. Shall, or shall direct the County Chairman to, maintain a “Minute Book” with the minutes from all meetings during his/her tenure. A complete and current copy of said book to be kept at the TCGOP office. If the TCGOP has no office, the TCGOP Chairman shall retain the copy of the Minute Book.
3. Shall, or shall direct the County Chairman to, maintain an official TCGOP “Member List Book” with a list of the names and contact information of all Executive Committee, TCGOP, TCGOP Members of the Ninth District Committee, Towns County Republican elected officials, and GA State GOP Members who are current TCGOP participants. Said book to be kept at TCGOP office. If the TCGOP has no office, the TCGOP Chairman shall retain the copy of the Member List Book.
I. Assistant Secretary. In the absence of the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary shall perform the duties of the Secretary.
J. District Chairmen
- Serve on the Executive Committee.
- Be responsible for assisting in the recruitment of Precinct Chairmen in their District.
- Maintain periodic contact with Precinct Chairmen in their District.
- Assist in obtaining poll watchers during elections.
K. Precinct Chairmen
- Be responsible for maintaining contact with the voters in their precinct.
- Assist with the conduct of voter canvasses.
- Assist with recruitment of Poll Watchers.
L. Duties/Responsibilities for Vice Chairmen, District Chairs, Precinct Chairs, Committee Chairmen
1. Will establish an action plan and objectives.
2. Will submit said action plan to the Executive Committee within thirty (30) days after being elected to or accepting said position.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP DONORS
The TCGOP membership application and donor fees shall be determined by the Membership Committee with the approval of the Executive Committee or, in the absence of a Membership Committee, by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE V – CONVENTIONS AND CAUCUSES
A. The call for Conventions and Caucuses shall conform to the Ninth District Rules, the Georgia GOP Rules, the National GOP Rules and the Code.
B. The conduct of Precinct Caucuses and the designating of Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention shall conform to the Ninth District Rules, the Georgia GOP Rules, the National GOP Rules and the Code.
C. Interim Committees: The County Chairman shall appoint the following Interim County Convention Committees and their respective Chairmen subject to the approval of the TCGOP at the January quarterly meeting held in odd-numbered years and in Presidential Election years:
- Nominating Committee
- Rules Committee
- Credentials Committee
- Platform Committee
- Resolutions Committee
Each Committee may consist of a Chairman plus three to six members. No person may serve on more than one Committee. Each Interim Committee shall have a majority of members who are members of the TCGOP.
D. Delegates and Alternate Delegates: Persons elected to be Delegates and Alternates to the District and State Conventions shall be allocated among the Commission Districts pro rata in accordance with the number of votes cast therein for the Republican candidate for President in the last General Election provided, as a sufficient number of Republicans living in a District desire to so participate. If a reasonable effort to fill the allotted number of Delegates and Alternates in a District fails, vacancies may be filled with persons from other Districts.
E. Any contested races elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS
A. These Rules may be amended at any County Convention by a majority vote or at any regular meeting (or special meeting called for such purpose) by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present. With respect to action to amend by the TCGOP, such meeting must be duly held and written notice setting forth in detail; the proposed intention to amend the Rules shall accompany the emailed and/or mailed notice of the meeting.
ARTICLE VII – ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER
A. Except to the extent modified by these Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order (latest revision) shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
For additional information, contact Betsy Young at [email protected]
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Following feedback from the community concerning a recent project at the local high school by the Towns County Democratic Party, encouraging registration of students nearing the voting age, the Republican Party issued a copy of its mission statement and beliefs to FYN for release. Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young said that while members of the Republican Party did not attend the three-day outreach due to scheduling conflicts, the Towns County Democrats were provided a copy of the GOP’s mission statement and beliefs for interested students to view.
Highlighted at the top of the information was a famed quote by former President Ronald Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Young explained that the GOP has considered including quotes from Reagan in additional literature. “We are reviewing it and will present it at the next meeting,” Young said.
The mission statement of the Towns County Republican Party reads: “Promoting political participation through education, loyalty, respect for each other’s opinions, and unified support of the Party’s objectives and policies”
According to the political group’s charter, the Republican Party of Towns County believes:
• Each person is responsible for their own place within society.
• Government’s role is to enable the people to secure the benefits for themselves and their families if they are unable to do so for themselves.
• In a limited role for Government intervention into individuals’ work for prosperity.
• States’ Rights
• US Constitution 2nd Amendment
• The Right to Life
• The Voter ID Law
• One Vote for one legal voter
• Every Legal American citizen has a right to vote and their vote to count
• English as a primary language, spoken and written
• Against Human Trafficking
• Against Sharia Law
• Support of ICE
• Support our Military and Law Enforcement
The Towns County Republican Party meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Towns County Civic Center. 8th District State House Representative Matt Gurtler will be the Feb. 20 keynote speaker. Meetings are open to the public.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – A candidate forum for the contenders in the Towns County sheriff’s race will be held Saturday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Towns County Civic Center, adjacent to the Towns County Courthouse in Hiawassee.
UPDATE: The venue was changed to Towns County High School.
Dr. John Van Vliet, Professor of Business and Public Policy at Young Harris College, will moderate the forum.
“It’s going to be a wonderful time for us to get questions,” Towns County GOP Chairwoman Betsy Young said. “You can write your questions. There will be no questions from the floor. We’ve also got a committee and there will be no ‘gotcha’ questions or personal questions. It’s going to be strictly on policy.”
The doors will open at 5 p.m, and written questions will be accepted for review until 5:45 p,m. Light refreshments will be served.
“We’ll draw numbers out of a box, and in that order, (the candidates) will be asked questions,” Young explained “The same question will be asked to each candidate, and Candidate 1 answers the question first. The next question will go to Candidate 2, so then it will rotate so that Candidate 1 will then get an opportunity to hear the answers to the other questions. There will be an opening of two minutes, in the beginning, then there will be a closing of three (minutes).”
At the time of publication, five candidates have announced their bids to seek Office of Sheriff on the Republican ticket: Daren “Bear” Osborn. Kenneth “Ode” Henderson, Linda J. Curtis, Jim Couch, and Lisa Joseph.
Qualification will take place during the first week of March. The primary election date is set for May 19, 2020.
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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party celebrated the opening of its local GOP headquarters Saturday, Nov. 16, during an open house invite for candidates and constituents. Several contenders for Towns County elected seats attended the event, including District 8 State House challenger Stan Gunter, Towns County sheriff challenger Daren “Bear” Osborn, and Towns County Clerk of Court Cecil Dye.
FYN spoke with Dye, the incumbent elected to office in 1984, regarding his decision toward a re-election bid. “I enjoy the job,” Dye said. “I enjoy helping people, and if you like it, you just keep doing it.”
Towns County Coroner Harold Copeland, who has not officially announced intent to seek re-election, was in attendance. Family members representing District 8 State House incumbent Matt Gurtler, and U.S. Congressman Doug Collins’ field representative were on site.
The Towns County Republican Party encouraged candidates to leave information, business cards, and campaign signs at the headquarters for area voters.
The Towns County GOP office will be open weekdays beginning Dec. 19, GOP Chair Betsy Young said, from 10 am – 3 pm. After Jan. 1, the hours will increase from 10 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
“During the 72-hour push, the office will be open from 8:30 am until 9 pm,” Young explained. “And we are looking for volunteers who are willing to help man the office throughout the season.”
Six Towns County offices are open for election in 2020:
- County commissioner
- Tax commissioner
- Clerk of Court
- Probate Judge
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Chairwoman Betsy Young warned Sunday, Oct. 20, of Democratic plans to flip the 9th Congressional District from red to blue in the 2020 election.
“Rural, mountain counties be aware of the ‘play book’ of the far left,” Young cautioned. “They know they have the city votes so they will concentrate on the outer areas, trying to change the minds of the more conservative voters or moderate leaning voters. These communities, like ours, Union, Rabun are targets. The 9th Congressional District is a target so we must prepare.”
Young offered the following tips to conservative voters:
- Register every Republican to vote.
- Check to see if you are registered, especially if it was done through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- If registered years ago, make sure your signature has not changed or it can be challenged.
- Bring friends to the polls who can’t get there on their own.
- Be an “informed” voter. Know facts, not innuendo.
“I am sure there are other important things and we will remind you as we go forward to 2020,” Young said.
Georgia’s 9th Congressional District is located in the northeastern portion of the state and includes Banks, Dawson, Elbert, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White counties. Parts of Clarke, Forsyth, and Pickens counties lie within the district.
Georgia’s 9th Congressional District is represented by Republican Doug Collins..
Antwon Stephens, a bisexual Democrat, plans to challenge Collins in 2020. “Stephens, 23, said his deep roots in rural Georgia make him want to run against U.S. House Rep. Doug Collins. He would become — at 25 — the youngest member of the U.S. House ever if he were to win. He would also be Georgia’s first-ever LGBTQ member of the U.S. House,” Project Q Atlanta, “queer Atlanta’s most-visited destinations for LGBTQ, gay and lesbian news,” reported earlier this year.
“Stephens needs your help to oust radical religious extremist Doug Collins from office and turn Georgia’s 9th Congressional District Blue. Flipping one of America’s reddest districts won’t be easy,” the Democratic challenger’s fundraising website states.
The primary election is scheduled for May 19, 2020. The general election will be held on November 3, 2020. The filing deadline for candidates is March 6, 2020.
In 2016, nearly 80 percent of Towns County’s registered voters cast ballots in the general election.
HIAWASSEE, Ga – Towns County Republican Party is fast tracking into 2020 on the “Towns County Express Trump Train” and Towns GOP Chairwoman Betsy Young invited a “troika” of speakers aboard the August locomotion.
State Senator John Wilkinson, Chair of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, and State Senator Steve Gooch, Majority Whip of the State Senate, will accompany Towns County’s “fearless and hardworking” Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw as represented speakers Thursday, Aug. 15, at Daniel’s Steakhouse in Hiawassee.
“One definition of the word ‘troika’ is three people working together for the betterment in an administrative or managerial capacity,” Young explained. “These three men certainly fit that definition as they all work hard at doing the best for their constituents and the State of Georgia.”
Opening exercises will feature Towns County student Gabe Moody, leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and Samantha Church, who will introduce Senator Gooch. “The youth of our county is the lifeline of our Party,” Young said. The public is welcome to arrive early to enjoy a “rib night” buffet dinner at the local restaurant. Doors open Aug. 15 at 5 pm, followed by the meeting at 6 pm. Attendees will receive a ticket for a free door prize drawing. Raffle tickets for a “special item” will be available for purchase, along with an assortment of political-themed items.
“Invite your friends and neighbors,” Young encouraged. “It will be an exciting and spirited evening that you won’t want to miss; fun, food, and fellowship all in one place.” Meetings are open to the public.
For additional information, contact Betsy Young at 904-382-1912 or [email protected]
Feature Photo: Towns County Republican Party Member Donna Barrow (left) with Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young at the June meeting.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Georgia State Senators John Wilkinson and Steve Gooch were invited to address the Towns County Republican Party Thursday, Aug. 15, at Daniel’s Steakhouse in Hiawassee. The evening began with acoustic entertainment by student Summer Rahn, who later led the National Anthem. followed by a well-received rendition of two classic county songs. Student Gabe Moody delivered a powerful speech on the importance of gratefulness in America, speaking favorably toward President Donald Trump and the sacrifice of the U.S. military. Chrissy Figg informed the community on the benefits of the local 4-H extension program, and student Samatha Church proudly introduced the state senators.
Senator Steve Gooch was the initial keynote speaker, touching on numerous topics of interest, including strong support for the enacted “heartbeat bill” which prohibits abortion in Georgia once a heartbeat is detected in the womb, the need for broadband internet options, the ongoing process of medical marijuana cultivation, and the upcoming change in voting machine procedures. Senator Gooch was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2010. Gooch is a Republican representing the 51st District, which includes Fannin, Union, Gilmer, Lumpkin, White, Dawson and parts of Pickens and Forsyth counties. Gooch was elected as the Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus in 2014. The senator spoke on the importance of voting in upcoming elections in order to keep Republicans in office, not only on a national level, but state and local as well. Gooch warned that the State House could lose its majority if Republicans fail to vote. “If the Democrats take the House, game over,” Gooch said.
Senator John Wilkinson mirrored Gooch’s position on the heartbeat bill, medical marijuana, and support for voter turnout at the polls. Wilkinson spoke with pride on the state’s decision to award individual Georgia schools with $30,000 funding for upgraded security, and favorably of Georgia’s $2.5 billion reserve and Triple A bond rating. Senator Wilkinson, a Republican from Toccoa, was first elected to the State Senate for Georgia’s 50th District during a special election in 2011 and has been reelected to serve in three subsequent elections. Senator Wilkinson represents Banks, Franklin, Habersham, Rabun, Towns, Stephens and portions of Hall and Jackson counties.
Ninth District Republican Chairwoman Rebecca Yardley additionally stressed the importance of voting in local elections, stating that 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has specifically targeted the highly-conservative Ninth District in an attempt to flip it from a Republican to Democratic hold.
Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw delivered the invocation at the beginning of the program, speaking briefly on the positive state of the county as the forum commenced. Towns County Republican Chairwoman Betsy Young led the meeting’s agenda. Hiawassee Councilwoman Anne Mitchell and Towns County Fire Chief-Coroner Harold Copeland attended the popular event.
Towns County Republican Party is scheduled to meet Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6 pm at the Towns County Civic Center. Meetings are open to the public.
Feature Image: State Senators Steve Gooch (left) and John Wilkinson speak with Towns County citizens.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party Chairwoman Betsy Young announced Thursday evening during July’s monthy meeting that the GOP will sponsor an amateur art contest for students and adults, encompassing the theme of freedom. “There will be three different divisions, based on age,” Young said. “Division One, Middle School; Division Two, High School; and Division Three, Adult.”
The “Let Freedom Ring” art contest runs from July 18 through Sept. 10, 2019. The winners will be announced at the Towns County GOP meeting on Thursaday, Sept. 19 at 6 pm at the Towns County Civic Center. All artwork entries will be displayed at this time.
First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded to the winners in each of the three categories. Middle and high school students can submit their entries at no cost. A $25.00 non-refundable entry fee will be required from adult participants. All artists will receive a certificate of participation from the Towns County GOP.
All specialties of artwork will be accepted, including photography, drawing, painting, watercolor, and sculpture. The first place winners’ creations, from each division, will be displayed in the Towns County Courthouse following the completion of the contest.
For additional information and registration, contact Betsy Young at 904-382-1912 or email [email protected]
Towns County GOP meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Towns County Civic Center at 6 p.m.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party will hold the GAGOP County, District, and State delegate registration Saturday, March 9, at the Towns County Civic Center on the Towns County Courthouse campus.
Towns County GOP asks, “Do you support the US Constitution? Our President? The Wall? Voter Accountability? Become a delegate.” A total of 105 delegates are permitted.
Doors open at 8 a.m. and the registration meeting begins at 9 a.m. Delegates must register prior to 10 a.m.
To qualify, delegates must be a registered Towns County voter, present identification, and be at least 18 years of age. A $10 fee is required to off-set the cost of the county convention.
Coffee and pastries will be served.
For additional information, contact Towns County Republican Chair Betsy Young at 904-382-1912 or [email protected]
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – US Congressman Doug Collins is scheduled to address the Towns County Republican Party at Moondance Restaurant (formerly Cafe Portofino) Tuesday, April 15, from 5-6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
“Do you remember, ‘Madame Attorney General I never thought I would hear myself say this, but, I miss Eric Holder,'” Towns County GOP Betsy Young asked. “Congressman Collins was speaking to Loretta Lynch as she refused to answer questions regarding the visit on the tarmac with Bill Clinton. Now as the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, he has a seat on one of the most powerful committees in the US Government and is the number five person on the Republican side of the US House. He’s vocal and stands up to the tacit remarks of the those who constantly attack and belittle our President, Donald Trump.
“We learned from him that, ‘Nellie Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee reveals she and Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele one day before Peter Strzok opened the FBI Investigation into President Donald J. Trump’s campaign; coincidence?’ He then released the transcript and continues to do so, legally. Transparency is his goal; go to https://dougcollins.house.gov/Papadopoulos for the full report on how it got started. We might have never known if he hadn’t taken the ball and run with it, as they say.”
Congressman Collins has served as a United States Representative of Georgia’s 9th Congressional District since 2013. Collins is a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary and is Vice-Chair of its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. As a member of the House Committee on Rules, he also helps manage every piece of House legislation that comes to the House floor.
(Feature Photo Credit: FOX News)
DILLARD, Ga. – Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw was awarded “Distinguished Local Elected Official” by the Ninth District Republican Party at a dinner ceremony at the Dillard House in Rabun County April 12. Towns County citizens submitted letters of nomination, leading to Bradshaw being selected for the recognition.
“Since Cliff was sworn in as commissioner, he has been going to available classes to help him become a better leader…,” one such letter read. “Cliff is a very high energetic young man who always states he wants our county to be successful. It’s our county not his. He is very receptive to all Towns County residents. He is transparent and accountable, especially at the third Tuesday monthly county commissioner‘s meeting. I consider it an honor to be able to nominate Cliff Bradshaw for consideration of the GOP Award for DISTINGUISHED COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIAL in recognition of his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing the issues of Towns County.”
Commissioner Bradshaw told FYN that he was deeply honored to be nominated and recognized.
The Republican Party hosted the Ninth District convention the following day, April 13, in Dillard. Towns County Delegates representing Hiawassee are Chair Donna Barrow, Secretary Betty Phillips, GOP Chair Betsy Young, GOP First Vice Chair John Alger, Cecil Dye, and Trina Coleman. Young Harris delegates are Chair Charles “Chuck” Luca, Secretary Betty Luca, Scott Ledford, and Harvey Cohen. Delegates representing Macedonia are Chair Daren “Bear” Osborn, Secretary Todd Tibbets, Jeff Pierot, and Melissa Griggs. US Congressman Doug Collins attended the convention, addressing the delegates.
The Georgia Republican Party will hold its state convention May 16-18, 2019, at the Savannah Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia. The event is open to the public, although only delegates may participate in the business matters of the convention.
Feature Photo: Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young with Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Democratic Party held its July 11 meeting at the Towns County Civic Center to discuss several topics of interest, including plans for an upcoming “Blue Fest” fundraiser to be held in October at Meeks Park in Young Harris. “Our goal should be to register new voters, get shy Democrats active again, and help with fundraising for 2020,” Towns County Democratic Party Secretary Terrylynne Marshall said. A tentative date of Oct. 26 was noted.
The group discussed creating a Facebook presence, and possibly a website to feature content related to the Party. The Democrats voted (feature image) on a logo for representation, and discussed participating in future high school speech contests by mentoring students and raising prize money alongside the Towns County Republican Party who has exclusively hosted the event in past years.
Towns County Democratic Party recently began hosting “Taco Tuesday” and deemed the initial gathering a success, with 14 guests in attendance. “This is a social event, not a business meeting,” Marshall reminded. Towns County Democratic Chairwoman Charlotte Sleczkowski spoke on scheduling a time to meet with Towns County Republican Chairwoman Betsy Young to publicize the objectives and values of each Party.
Towns County Democratic Party meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6 pm. Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw is scheduled to attend the August session, and the group hopes to learn more about the veterans recognition program that the county, in cooperation with the local VFW, recently initiated.
HIAWASSEE. Ga. – Towns County Republican Party held their “mass” county convention at the civic center Saturday, March 9. Hiawassee, Macedonia, and Young Harris precincts were represented. A total of 13 delegates registered. A maximum of 105 delegates were allowed.
Former Towns County Secretary Scott Ledford led the meeting. “We are here, essentially, to start 2020,” Ledford began. Resolutions that will advance to the 9th District include support for House Bill 481, restricting abortion, Constitutional Carry, which would eliminate the need for gun permits, support for a study panel to assist veterans’ transitions to civilian life, support for a balanced state budget, term limits for political leaders, and “strong support” for the rights of solely United States citizens to vote. A resolution to repeal the 17th Amendment – which allows the people to elect state senators, rather than by governmental appointment – failed.
Delegates representing Hiawassee are Chair Donna Barrow, Secretary Betty Phillips, GOP Chair Betsy Young, GOP First Vice Chair John Alger, Cecil Dye, and Trina Coleman.
Delegates representing Macedonia are Chair Daren “Bear” Osborn, Secretary Todd Tibbets, Jeff Pierot, and Melissa Griggs.
Delegates representing Young Harris are Chair Charles “Chuck” Luca, Secretary Betty Luca, Scott Ledford, and Harvey Cohen.
Tate City was permitted one delegate although no residents attended.
The delegates will represent Towns County at the upcoming district and state conventions.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party hosted an “Old-Fashion Rally and BBQ” on Hiawassee Town Square, the weekend prior to the state run-off election. Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young organized and orchestrated the event, drawing Gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle , and Secretary of State candidate David Belle Isle, to visit with constituents.
Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon spoke on behalf of Lieutenant Governor candidate David Shafer, and former State Representative Stephen Allison represented Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp. Kemp was unable to attend due to an engagement with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Macon, Georgia.
Vendors set up shop along Berrong Street, and K&K Killer Kue served smoked pork barbeque sandwiches to guests.
The Republican Party held a bake sale, and the President’s Team manned an information booth.
Radio host of EXtreme Carolina, Michael Levi Borkman, served as Master of Ceremony.
Former Towns County Republican Chair Mark Wolchko streamed music, leading up to the candidate “stumping”.
Chris Clinton, who serves as Towns County Sheriff, and his band provided live entertainment.
Hiawassee Police Department chipped in, providing not only security, but supplying a needed tent and table for visitors.
Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, staying throughout, and Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales made a brief appearance at the event.
The State Run-Off Election takes place tomorrow, July 24. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(Feature Image: Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley shakes hands with Gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle)
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Early voting in the 2018 midterm election came to a close on Friday, and Towns County Board of Elections saw a massive turnout at the Hiawassee polling precinct. Of the 9,386 registered voters in Towns County, 4,030 residents chose to cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s general election. A total of 257 absentee ballots had been returned to the election board as of Friday afternoon.
The 2018 turnout rivals that of the 2016 presidential election. Two years ago, 4,564 of the 8,608 voters registered in Towns County turned up to cast early ballots at the polls, with 420 ballots returned by mail. Midterm elections historically do not draw such a high amount of voters to the ballot box.
FYN reached out to Towns County leaders and gathered their thoughts on the phenomenon.
Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton believes that the south-of-the-border “caravan of criminals” that are headed toward the U.S. border plays a part in the impressive turnout at the Georgia polls. “The future of our nation and our state rides on this election. Anyone being honest about these caravans understands what is at stake. If the left wins, the caravans are just the beginning. If the Republicans stay in, I’m willing to bet they turn around,” Clinton warned, “We must stop this madness or we will cease to be a sovereign nation…They aren’t coming for jobs or safety. Mexico offered those. They sure aren’t coming to be Americans. Those aren’t American flags they are carrying during these border assaults.”
Sheriff Clinton recently endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, reiterating on Friday that Stacey Abrams’ “radical, socialist ideas are extremely dangerous.”
District 8 State House Representative Matt Gurtler is optimistic that Georgia will remain a “red” state, adding that according to the Secretary of State’s office, Georgia has seen the highest early voter turnout in the state’s history during this year’s general election. “Our district is the most active in the state and the most conservative by far,” Gurtler explained, “I expect to see the 8th House District in the lead once again this coming Tuesday, and I believe and have great faith in the people of Georgia, that we will see a ‘red wave’ sweep the entire state.”
While Towns County Republican Party Chair Betsy Young is enthusiastic,the GOP leader believes that the race for Georgia’s next governor, in particular, is tight. “I think this is going to be close, but if only legal voters vote – all Democrats and Republicans – we will win. The area around Atlanta will be heavily Democrat, but I believe some who have never voted anything but Democrat will vote Republican because of two things: hate by liberals and their awful demonstration of it, along with the economy and immigration.”
“The fate of our state and our county is at stake,” Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw expressed, “Towns County realizes how important this election is for our future, and I’m very thankful for that.” Commissioner Bradshaw served as Master of Ceremonies at a recent “Get Out the Vote” event sponsored by the Towns County Republican Party.
While the four local leaders agree that the high voter count is good sign for their affiliated political party, the Republicans stressed the importance of an equally healthy turnout at the polls on election day.
Towns County polling precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Count on FYN to deliver local election results as soon as they become available.