Sheriff, coroner candidates to speak at Republican meeting

Election, News
2020 candidates Towns County

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.

Towns County GOP

Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young

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
A.  Definitions:
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 RulesThese 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 LawsThese 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.   NAMEThe 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:

  1. County Chairman
  2. First Vice Chairman
  3. Second Vice Chairman
  4. Third Vice Chairman
  5. District Chairmen (one from each Commission District)
  6. Secretary
  7. Assistant Secretary
  8. Treasurer
  9. Assistant Treasurer
  10. Parliamentarian
  11. Immediate Past County Chairman
  12. Chairman, Elections
  13. Chairman, Membership Committee
  14. Chairman, Communications
  15. Chairman, Headquarters Operations
  16. Director of Community Outreach
  17. Chairman, Community Relations
  18. Chairman, Rules Committee
  19. Chairman, Resource Development Committee
  20. Precinct Chairmen, from each organized Precinct
  21. 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:
    1. All previous Chairmen of the County Committee;
    2. the present and all past Chairmen of the Ninth Congressional District Republican Committee provided that they are residents of Towns County;
    3. the present and all past Chairmen of the Georgia Republican Party provided that they are residents of Towns County;
    4. Georgia GOP State Committee Members residing in Towns County;
    5. incumbent Republican public office holders within Towns County; and
    6. 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 TCGOPThere 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 OfficersAll 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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. Elections: (Shall work in conjunction with the Board of Elections related to election dates and candidate qualifying.)
  4. 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.)
  5. Membership: (Shall be responsible for member recruitment and membership roster.)
  6. Resource Development: (Shall be responsible for planning and coordinating fundraising activities for TCGOP.)
  7. 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 TCGOPThe 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:

  1. A vacancy is deemed to exist upon the happening of any one of the following:
    1. Death
    2. Resignation
    3. Failure to be a voter of Towns County.
    4. Failure of the voters in a precinct to organize.
    5. Failure of the Precinct Chairmen in organized precincts to elect a District Chairman.
    6. 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.
    7. A vacancy shall include any office not filled by the County Convention.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
4.  Proxies:

  1. 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.
  2. Members of the Executive Committee may direct his/her proxy only to another member of the Executive Committee.
  3. No TCGOP member may vote more than three proxies.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 TCGOPThe 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

  1. County Chairman:
  1. Is the Chief Executive Officer and spokesperson of the TCGOP and shall perform all duties required by these Rules.
  2. Shall convene the TCGOP as the Rules and needs of the Party dictate.
  3. Presides at all TCGOP meetings and all Executive Committee meetings.
  4. Appoints committees called for in the Rules and such other committees he/she may deem desirable.
  5. Shall appoint a presiding officer for Precinct caucuses in those instances when the Precinct Chairman is unable to attend.
  6. Presides at all County Conventions.
  7. Appoints interim County Convention committees and their respective Chairmen subject to the approval of the TCGOP.
  8. Is responsible for the general direction and affairs of the Party.
  9. 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.
H.  Secretary
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

  1. Serve on the Executive Committee.
  2. Be responsible for assisting in the recruitment of Precinct Chairmen in their District.
  3. Maintain periodic contact with Precinct Chairmen in their District.
  4. Assist in obtaining poll watchers during elections.

K.  Precinct Chairmen

  1. Be responsible for maintaining contact with the voters in their precinct.
  2. Assist with the conduct of voter canvasses.
  3. 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:

  1. Nominating Committee
  2. Rules Committee
  3. Credentials Committee
  4. Platform Committee
  5. 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 TCGOPChair@gmail.com

Sen. Paul endorses Rep. Gurtler in U.S. Congressional race

Election, News
Rand Paul

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler, 8th District, formally announced Feb. 18 that he received a campaign endorsement from U.S. Senator Rand Paul.  “I am proud to receive Senator Rand Paul’s endorsement for Congress,” Gurtler said. “Rand Paul is one of the few men in Washington D.C. willing to stand up for the Constitution and take on the establishment.”

Sen. Paul’s endorsement reads as follows:

Matt Gurtler

Rep. Matt Gurtler

“Matt Gurtler is a proven conservative who has stood strong against out-of-control government spending and the special interests in Atlanta. He is the exact type of conservative leader we need in Washington who will defend liberty and serve the people of Georgia’s 9th District, not the DC insiders. He has my full and total endorsement.”

Sen. Paul is a member of the Republican Party, a U.S. Senator representing the state of Kentucky, and a former candidate for President of the United States.

Featured Image: U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Rep. Gurtler on decision to seek U.S. Congressional seat

Election, News
FYNTV - Matt Gurtler

ELLIJAY, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler spoke with FYN CEO Brian Pritchard in a live FYNTV interview, Feb.13, on the state budget cuts, related HB 4, and his announcement to run for the 9th Congressional District seat vacated by U.S. Senate-seeking Representative Doug Collins.

Gurtler, who is running on a platform of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, said that the decision to run for U.S. Congress did not come lightly, and reached through deliberation and prayer. “We looked at the State Senate seat, we looked at the Congressional seat and had an opportunity to go up to Washington D.C. to meet with the conservative leaders in the House and also the Senate, and theses individuals and individuals reaching out to me across the District really encouraged me to run,” Gurtler said. “They’ve been watching me, and that I’ve been standing up to the powers that be, and the insiders in Atlanta and the special interests and the bloated budgets, and so it was sort of flattering that they noticed me there. And so we came back, and me and my family prayed, and we made the decision for Congress. We feel that we have a lot of support around the District. We’re going to work our tail off. We’re going to put tens of thousands of miles on the car again and wear the soles out on our feet and just bring the message of limited government to a wider audience, and a national audience if we are elected, so that we can really educate people.”

Gurtler said that members of the House and Senate voiced a need for “revolutionaries” to educate people on a national level, specifically against socialism. The State House Representative, who was in Washington D.C. during the telephone interview, divulged that he met with the Young Americans for Liberty, Freedom Caucus, and Club for Growth – an organization that is spending millions to fight Congressman Doug Collins in the U.S. Senate race.

Gurtler added that he received an endorsement from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The 8th District representative later shared his support for the Second Amendment in a social media post. “Our founders understood the right of self-defense is a natural and God-given right,” Gurtler wrote. “Red Flag laws and gun confiscation legislation like we see in Virginia, are dangerous to the principles of a free society and go against our constitutional rights. I will stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights in Washington DC just as I have done from day one at the State Capitol these past 4 years.”

Continue to follow FYN for local, state, and national campaign coverage as the May 19 primary election approaches.

 

 

 

Gurtler announces run for 9th Congressional District

News, Press Release
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative for the 8th District, Matt Gurtler, officially announced candidacy for the 9th Congressional District seat on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 12.

“We did not expect this opportunity to come so soon,” Gurtler stated in a press release. “However, I’ve learned that it is not enough to simply support the Constitution, the Second Amendment, or love liberty… We must fight for our shared values and principles like I’m doing in Georgia. Since Day ONE of my time serving in the Georgia State House, I’ve tirelessly fought to defend Georgia’s constitutional conservative values, principles, and our God-given rights. Working alongside Governor Kemp, I’ve been fighting for Georgia to become a national leader in defending our second amendment rights. Congress needs proven limited government conservatives who will stand up to Speaker Pelosi and fake Republicans like Mitt Romney and John Bolton. I support President Trump’s agenda to bring our troops home, cut job-killing regulations, and defend the right of the unborn.

“My decision to run for Congress does not come lightly. My family, close friends and many of you helped me pray and deliberate over this decision. Ultimately, I made the decision to run knowing that I will be a champion for the Constitution, a voice for liberty in Congress, and serve the people of Georgia.”

Follow FYN for continued coverage as Election 2020 advances.

Gurtler leaves 8th District voters hanging in limbo

Election, News
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – With candidate qualification just three weeks away, House Representative Matt Gurtler continues to leave 8th District voters in the dark regarding which office he will pursue. Whether Gurtler will choose to remain the incumbent in the State House race or move toward a bid in the 50th State Senate or 9th Congressional districts remains a mystery.

As constituents question the elected official’s delay, it begs the question: What exactly is Gurtler waiting on?

Gurtler alluded to a potential State Senate, or U.S. Congressional House run, in a Feb. 4 social media post. “With the announcement of Congressman Doug Collins seeking the U.S. Senate seat, as well as our State Senator John Wilkinson’s seat opening up, I wanted to answer all your questions about whether I’m considering a run for either seat, the 9th Congressional or the 50th State Senate,” Gurtler stated, adding that he was “weighing my options.”

Last month, the second-term representative received substantial backlash on social media following a controversial “no” vote proclaimed to honor President Trump and the U.S. military. Challenging candidate Stan Gunter took aim at the self-professed conservative’s history of opposing Republican-backed bills at the State Capitol.

In turn, Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw weighed in on the matter at the Towns County Republican Party meeting on Jan. 16, shining a spotlight on Gurtler’s unpopular position with conservative officials in the State House. “This isn’t the first time that a vote like this occurred,” Gunter publicly reminded. “You can imagine what he does to his relationships with other Republicans because this bill went down the party line. The Democrats all voted against it, and he joined the Democrats.”

In response, Representative Gurtler issued a Feb. 6 rebuttal reminiscent of his 2018 campaign rhetoric. “The establishment, lead by (House Speaker David) Ralston himself, never give up, and unfortunately, because they’ve been in power for so long (back when many of them were Democrats), they have endless resources….” Gurtler stated in part. “Unfortunately, my opponent has decided to carry on the establishment torch.”

In a Feb. 6 statement to FYN, Gunter said that he is focused solely on the 8th District House. “I’m running my campaign as if (Gurtler) is still in it, which he is,” Gunter said. Gunter issued the statement following the news that Gurtler confirmed a low-profile visit to Washington D.C.

With time narrowing in, the elected official will have to reveal his hand sooner than later, announcing whether he wishes to continue representing the citizens of the 8th House District or attempt to secure a seat elsewhere.

Additional information can be found by clicking the highlighted links above.

Continue to follow FYN for campaign developments as Election 2020 approaches.

 

 

Gurtler remains tight-lipped, visits DC as qualifying nears

Election, News
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga.- State House Representative Matt Gurtler, the incumbent in the 8th District race, continues to hold a clenched grip on his plans, seemingly wavering between whether to seek a third term in the State House or move toward a potential 50th State Senate or 9th Congressional District run. FYN received information that Gurtler was not in attendance at legislative sessions in Atlanta earlier this week, along with a tip that Gurtler was visiting Washington D.C. Gurtler confirmed on Wednesday evening that he was, in fact, in Washington. “I had an opportunity to meet with some great conservative leaders,” Gurtler told FYN in a brief statement.

Gurtler did not indicate if he has reached a decision, however, on which office he will seek. “I’m still praying, and making sure to get back to all those who have contacted (me) about the open seats in our beautiful mountains, especially my family, friends, and neighbors of the 8th District. I’m grateful for their support and input,” Gurtler said.

FYN reached out to 8th District House challenger, Stan Gunter, for his thoughts on Gurtler’s apparent indecisiveness. “There’s a lot of planning involved if (Gurtler) runs for the 9th Congressional District,” Gunter said. “I’m focused on this race. I’m running my campaign as if he is still in it, which he is.”

On Feb. 4, Gurtler indicated on social media that he has yet to reach a resolution, listing the 8th District House, the 50th State Senate, and the 9th Congressional District seats as options. “Whatever we decide to do and whatever seat I run for, or if I simply run for reelection, the purpose is always to continue the fight against the establishment and to defend our Constitution,” Gurtler stated in part. “Of course, my priority will be to serve my district and the People of Georgia as your State House Representative during the 2020 session. I will be sure to inform you once a decision is made, very soon.”

With qualification just weeks away, Gurtler is expected to announce the office that he intends to pursue in the near future.

Continue to follow FYN for local, state, and national election coverage as the May 19 primary approaches.

More candidates consider entering District 50 race

Election, News
District 50

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Habersham attorney, Thomas “Bo” Hatchett announced late Monday night that he’s considering entering the District 50 state senate seat race. He joins several Republicans who are deliberating their decisions.

In a Facebook statement, Hatchett said:

“To my friends, my family, and my community: Since Senator John K. Wilkinson’s announcement to run for the vacant U.S. House seat in Washington, I have been approached by several members of the community and members of the local bar encouraging me to run for the vacant seat in Senate District 50. I’d like to thank Senator Wilkinson for zealously fighting for our north Georgia values as our loyal Senator. I’d also like to thank my boss and mentor, Dennis Cathey, for his belief in me and his wise guidance as I consider running. Finally, I’d like to thank my family for their unwavering support: my wife, Ashley, my daughters, my parents Tommy and Nora, and everyone else who has reached out to encourage me to run. The community’s faith in me to continue to represent our values plays an imperative part in my decision. I ask that my family be in your prayers as we make this important decision.”

District 50 Candidates

The Habersham County Commission Chairman Stacy Hall quickly announced his candidacy after Senator John Wilkinson entered the U.S. House race last week. Prior Hall stated he wouldn’t run for reelection to the Habersham Board of Commissioners.

Stacy Hall, Habersham Commission Chairman

In a statement, Hall released, “I am truly grateful and humbled by the overwhelming support and encouragement throughout the district to run for the State Senate seat currently held by John K. Wilkinson. After much prayer and speaking with many individuals across the district, along with the encouragement of my wife Ivy Copeland Hall and our children, I have decided to run for Georgia Senate District 50. If elected, I plan to represent you in fighting for our North Georgia values and Constitutional Rights.”

Hall plans to finish out his term as Habersham commissioner.

Another elected official debating entering the race is state District 8 Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-GA), who previously informed Fetch Your News that he was weighing his options for “the 9th Congressional or the 50th State Senate seat.”

Matt Gurtler

Matt Gurtler, State House District 8 Representative

Gurtler’s currently in the midst of a reelection campaign for District 8 and is facing former Enotah Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Stan Gunter.

District 50 covers Towns, Rabun, Habersham, Banks, Stephens, Franklin, and parts of Jackson and Hall counties.

Stay with Fetch Your News as this race and others continue to develop.

Gurtler indecisive on which seat to seek

Election, News
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Matt Gurtler, the 8th District State House Representative, issued a statement to FYN on Feb. 2, remaining seemingly indecisive on his next political move.

“I am considering a run and weighing my options for the 9th Congressional or the 50th State Senate seat,” Gurtler told FYN. “It is very rare for both seats to open up like this at the same time and is something we did not expect. My family and I are praying about this very important decision. Thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement these past several days. Whatever we decide to do and whatever seat I run for, I will continue to fight the establishment and defend our Constitution.”

With qualifying drawing near, Gurtler has a mere month to decide whether to attempt the retention of his 8th District seat or seek candidacy elsewhere. Qualification takes place during the first week of March, with the primary election set for Tuesday, May 19.

The 9th Congressional seat opened as a result of United States Representative Doug Collins’ aim toward the Georgia Senate. The 50th State Senate office opened following Senator John Wilkinson’s decision to seek the seat vacated by Collins.

Click to read: Who is eyeing Collins’ Congressional seat

Gurtler, the 8th District incumbent, has been challenged in the State House race by Stan Gunter. Gurtler was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2016, serving Towns, Rabun, Union, and portions of White counties. As of Wednesday, Gunter stated that he expects Gurtler to remain in the race, “anticipating (Gurtler) to qualify for (District 8) and be in the race in March.”

Gurtler declined an FYNTV.com interview prior to reaching a decision.

The 9th Congressional District consists of Banks, Dawson, Elbert, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, White and portions of Clarke, Forsyth, and Pickens counties. The 50th Senatorial District includes Habersham, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Banks, Franklin, White, and parts of Hall and Jackson counties.

Continue to follow FYN for political coverage as 2020 election developments occur.

 

Gurtler responds to no vote on Trump Resolution

Election, Featured
Gurtler

TOWNS COUNTY, Ga – Georgia District 8 State Rep. Matt Gurtler appeared to be the only House Republican to vote against HR 882, and he asked the public to read the entire resolution before making any conclusions.

“I support [President] Trump and our Armed Forces,” Gurtler told FYN over the phone. “He’s really been trying to keep us out of [middle east] wars. I think he’s shown immense restraint in doing that. This resolution was really a constitutional issue for me.”

The non-binding resolution praised the president and the military for the successful “operation that neutralized Qasem Soleimani.” Gurtler cited HR 882 as unconstitutional due to the disregard for Article 1, Section 8, and references to past president’s foreign policy. He urged constituents to read the document for themselves and come to a conclusion.

“War is a serious thing, and we want to do it right…In the Constitution, war powers [are] delegated to the legislative branch that’s Article 1, Section 8….When you look at the constitution, I can’t pick and choose which parts I want to uphold and which ones I don’t,” said Gurtler.

“If we want to go to war with any country, lets openly debate it,” said Gurtler. “Under the war powers act, we have not been doing that. We’ve been giving all the power to the executive with many different administrations.”

“Even in the resolution, it mentions [President] George W. Bush and his foreign policy, and Trump has criticized the past two administrations overwhelmingly about getting in entangled alliances with these foreign counties,” the District 8 Rep. explained.

Here’s an excerpt from HR 882 that mentions Bush’s foreign policy:

“President George W. Bush designated Iran as a pivotal part of the “Axis of Evil” that “aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.”

Gurtler agreed that the world is better off without the Iranian General Soleimani. If the resolution only asked the public to support Trump and our troops, Gurtler said he would have voted for it.

He viewed HR 882 as a “political stunt.” The no vote isn’t a disagreement over the neutralization of Soleimani, rather the role of executive and legislative branches of government. According to Gurtler, the resolution was pushed through within 24-hours, and no one knew it was coming until it landed on their desks. “We had more pressing business to attend to if this came up later in the session, that’s fine,” he commented.

The resolution passed 93-86, just over the majority needed.

In response to claims that Gurtler’s a closet Democrat, he said:

“It’s disingenuous. You have to look at what the resolution actually says, and what it’s approving of. Republican Senators and Representatives in the U.S. House share my same concerns.”

Stan Gunter, who is Gurtler’s opposition in the 2020 race for the District 8 seat, has commented on the issue as well.

“That is a perfect example of why I got into this race,” Gunter said. “This isn’t the first time that a vote like this occurred. You can imagine what he does to his relationships with other Republicans because this bill went down the party line. The Democrats all voted against it, and he joined the Democrats.”

Gurtler released a statement on the controversial vote Friday, Jan. 17, which can be seen in it’s entirety below:

The same establishment that passed the largest tax increase in Georgia history just a few years ago, and passed another $150 million tax increase yesterday somehow has the audacity to call themselves conservative.

It’s one more reason why we must be skeptical of their messaging, they don’t care about being consistent.

If I didn’t take my job as your representative seriously I could vote based on the one sentence explanations and propaganda Ralston gives us, and repeat those lies to you. I think Georgians deserve better, and just like at the national level with Trump, I think the people are starting to see through the political theatre.

I’m writing this today because the latest attack is that I didn’t vote for a resolution. As usual the main idea is something that sounds good, and I wish they would have simply stated “We support President Trump and the brave men and women of our military.” But instead they added in a bunch of misrepresentations of our Constitution and even used George W Bush as a reference about our involvement in the middle east.

The fact that there’s any positive mention of Bush means Trump himself wouldn’t have voted for this resolution, and I’ll happily stand with him on that. The important part is the misrepresentations of the Constitution. As Trump has said over and over, we should have never gotten into these stupid wars, and ignoring our Constitution is what allowed that in the first place.

Below is my official response, and as always I hope this helps you understand where I’m coming from. Thank you for your encouragement, it makes what I’m doing possible.

________________

From day one, President Trump has wisely pointed out that over the last couple decades, the many foreign wars that our country has been dragged into have been stupid mistakes. They have also been dreadfully costly—both in terms of treasure and more importantly, American lives. Time and time again, who has the President always singled out? The last two administrations! George W. Bush, the one who started the whole thing, and Barack Obama, the one who made it even worse—by arming the very enemies who have threatened our brave men and women of the military.

War is very serious and President Trump inherited perpetual foreign conflicts that he has tried to end. The Deep State though, along with the military-industrial complex that our President talks about, has made much of this important task nearly unachievable. These are the same people by the way that have continually lied to the American public—first about the Russia hoax, and when that didn’t work, they lied to the American people about the Ukraine. Ever since, they have tried to impeach and remove the President over much ado about nothing.

I do understand the President’s difficult position though—he needs to defend America while defending himself at the same time, and I support him in his executive position.

I, on the other hand, am part of the state legislature, which rarely has any input over matters of war and peace. When we do though, I’m going to take that responsibility seriously and as my oath requires, I will always put the Constitution first—precisely when doing so may help avoid these huge, foolish wars to begin with.

War comes at the cost of blood, sweat, tears and American lives and should always be declared by a vote in Congress according to our founders and the US Constitution in Article 1 Section 8. The legislative branch holds the sole power to declare war. Passing a resolution like this—one filled with half truths and absurd conclusions—is insulting and demeaning to the Constitution to which every member of our strong military swore an oath to protect and defend.

While I agree the Iranian terrorist deserved what happened to him, we obviously won’t always have presidents who make good decisions unilaterally. And this is why the responsibility ultimately lies with the Congress. If I can help encourage the Congress to do their Constitutional job, I’m alright with taking a few arrows along the way.

That being said, I’m quite sure many of my colleagues only had good intentions and simply wanted to support President Trump and more importantly, offer support for our troops. However, I don’t think a resolution that condones and supports the bankrupt foreign policy of Barrack Obama and George W. Bush—which our president unfortunately had to inherit—is the best way to go about doing so.

Lastly, I don’t believe that Trump himself would vote for this meaningless resolution, as he would never utter one single positive thing about Georgia W. Bush and Barack Obama’s foolish, expensive quagmires in the quicksand of the Middle East.

Thank you very much for your support…and God Bless America, our president, and the men and women of our military—I for one can’t wait to bring them home!

Gunter calls out Gurtler’s NO vote on Trump resolution

News
Stan Gunter

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Stan Gunter, a challenger in the 8th District State House race, spoke with the Towns County Republican Party Jan. 16, reading House Resolution 882 meant to commend President Trump for his leadership, and the United States military, for taking down worldwide terrorist Qasem Soleimani.

The resolution was met with applause, but the mood quickly shifted when Gunter informed the local GOP that 8th District Representative Matt Gurtler voted against the resolution that very day. “That is a perfect example of why I got into this race,” Gunter said. “This isn’t the first time that a vote like this occurred. You can imagine what he does to his relationships with other Republicans because this bill went down the party line. The Democrats all voted against it, and he joined the Democrats.”

Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, who attended the meeting, asked candidate Gunter to touch upon the Hurricane Michael Relief Bill that Gurtler opposed 162-1 in 2018, drawing similarities between Gurtler’s most recent controversial vote.

FYN spoke with Gunter following the meeting, asking the State House candidate to weigh-in further on Gurtler’s obstinance toward House Resolution 882.

“The vote is obviously against President Trump and our armed forces, and I don’t understand why he would vote against something like that and vote with the Democrats,” Gunter told FYN. “It’s a party-line vote, but he’s voting with the Democrats. I don’t know what that says. I think that creates the problem with other Republicans down in the legislature, and that’s why he can’t get anything done. He’s antagonistic by the way that he votes, and he ruins those relationships.”

House Representative Gurtler indicated Friday morning that he intends to issue a press release on the hot topic.

Click to read Gurtler responds to no vote on Trump resolution

 

2020 candidates attend opening of Republican headquarters

News, Politics
Towns County Republican Party
Stan Gunter

District 8 State House challenger Stan Gunter

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 Clerk of Court

Towns County Clerk of Court incumbent Cecil Dye

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.

Towns County sheriff election

Towns County sheriff’s challenger Daren “Bear” Osborn

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
  • Sheriff
  • Coroner
  • Clerk of Court
  • Probate Judge
Towns County Republican Party headquarters is located at 3921 Highway 76, Unit 8, east of Young Harris.
For additional information, contact GOP Chair Betsy Young at 904-382-1912 or TCGOPChair@gmail.com

 

 

House Rep. Matt Gurler addresses Towns County GOP

News, Politics
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler addressed the Towns County Republican Party Thursday, June 20, at Daniel’s Steakhouse in Hiawassee. The second-term official reviewed the highlights of the recent legislative session, explaining his voting history to the crowd-filled room, while promoting an ongoing mission to “bring principles back into politics.” Gurtler has unapologetically represented District 8 since 2016 when elected to serve Georgia’s top conservative district.

Representative Gurtler spoke in opposition of the ever-increasing state budget which continues to rise between $1.1 to $1.5 billion annually, while heavily favoring the “Heartbeat Bill” which prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, advancing the House floor by a single vote. The staunch conservative touched upon free-market broadband service, the importance of historical monument preservation, and advocated for “in-house” hemp cultivation, stating that the proposed bill incorporates a high level of governmental control, referencing the measure as “the most highly regulated bill in the nation at this point.”

Gurtler concluded the address with an emotive argument against House Speaker David Ralston, a feud that reached its peak during Gurtler’s 2018 re-election campaign; fueled by Ralson’s open support of Gurtler’s challenger, and Ralston’s critique of the rebel of the House. Gurtler defined Ralston as exhibiting an “abuse of power,” claiming that the speaker “rules with an iron fist” while blocking bills, and attempting to oust those who oppose him. “This is someone who needs to be replaced,” the District 8 representative said. True to past form, Gurtler called for Ralston’s resignation as House speaker. “It’s all about power. It’s all about maintaining power…,” Gurtler professed, adding, “They know that the power is crumbling underneath their feet.”

Representative Gurtler’s full legislative voting record is available online..

Rep. Matt Gurtler opposes amended state budget

News, Politics
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Georgia House recently voted on the amended, “small” state budget in Atlanta with District 8 Representative Matt Gurtler boldly opposing the measure. Gurtler stated that he voted “no” with confidence as he continues to find fault, specifically with subsidies and free market intervention.

Gurtler relayed that he believes over 40 percent of the $240 million budget is not within the confines of the proper role of government. “Some aspects of the budget were some of the worst I’ve seen in years, since I started studying the budget in 2013,” the ultra-conservative Northeast Georgia representative wrote. “Once again, we are pouring millions of dollars into non-governmental entities and organizations such as Mercer University. Millions of tax dollars would go straight to this private university to subsidize a medical program and that just isn’t right. If we have a problem, such as a need for more doctors, we should be looking at over-regulation and outright monopolies, created by you guessed it; big government. And we certainly shouldn’t be picking winners and losers and dolling our millions of dollars of handouts.”

Gurtler asserted that government should have no part in the actions or the funding of private entities or organizations. Gurtler raised issue that other programs, such as the new Atlanta Transit Authority, was allocated an additional $500,000, and that the “slush fund known as the Georgia One Authority” was allocated $14 million.

Gurtler was joined by seven of his colleagues who voted against the amended budget, with 166 voting in favor.

“It is well known that I will vote based on principle, even if that means going against what everyone else is doing,” Gurtler expressed. “Even if my vote stands alone, it’s important that we continue to have high standards and make sure our vote is one that we are proud to cast for our district, and in line with limited government principles.”

Rep. Gurtler explains vote against Speaker Ralston’s re-election

News, Politics
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State Representative Matt Gurtler, branded the “rebel” of the Georgia House, was the sole Republican to vote against the re-election of House Speaker David Ralston, Jan. 14. Ralston represents District 7, encompassing parts of Dawson County, Fannin County, and Gilmer County, and has served as Speaker of the House since 2010.

Matt Gurtler

District 8 Rep. Matt Gurtler

“The Speaker’s role is that of a facilitator, to ensure the legislative process is respected,” Gurtler stated, “While I understand the power dynamic that is politics, to say that we need to raise our standards is an understatement. If one individual controls the entire process, does that not undo the framework our government was founded on? A representative government with limited, delegated powers, derived from the people. This applies within the legislative bodies and between the legislative bodies – separation of powers.”

Notably, Gurtler and Ralston butted heads during the 2018 primary election cycle, with Ralston openly supporting Gurtler’s challenger. Despite opposition from state leaders, Gurler was re-elected to serve a second-term representing the citizens of District 8. “As always, my votes are based on principle, merit, and policy, and I simply cannot approve of this type of dictatorial rule,” Gurtler explained,” I’ve seen it and experienced it firsthand. This isn’t surprising. It’s the reality and product of big government, and it’s a big reason why people hate politics. For those reasons, we must take a stand, and that is why I voted against Representative Ralston as I enter my second term, even though I gave him the benefit of the doubt the first time.”

In addition to Gurtler, nine Democratic House members opposed the re-election of Speaker Ralston, with Ralston securing the office with 170 favorable votes.

 

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House Rep. Matt Gurtler continues fight for concealed gun rights

News, Politics
Rep. Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – District 8 House Representative Matt Gurtler returned to Atlanta last week to serve his second-term as a state legislator, continuing to push for House Bill 2, also known as Constitutional Carry, an edict which would make the Georgia Weapons License (GWL) optional for law-abiding Georgia residents.

Gurtler believes that with the help of newly-elected Governor Brian Kemp, a Second Amendment proponent who has shown support for Constitutional Carry in the past, that Georgia can join the list of numerous states who have passed bills in favor of the measure.

FYN Matt Gurtler

A clip from a FYNTV.com segment featuring Rep. Matt Gurtler

“If you would still like to get your GWL you can still do so and have reciprocity with other states. This bill, in effect, will keep Georgians from having to pay a tax on a right that is given to them by the Second Amendment,” Gurtler explained, “On Thursday morning, I, along with Colton Moore from District 1, spoke about our continued need for support and signatures from fellow House members to help push this bill along.”

Furthermore, Gurtler plans to meet with Governor Kemp in coming weeks to discuss House Bill 4, a plan to itemize divisions within the state budget. “This bill would divide our budgeting process into 49 separate departments, making both the House and the Senate responsible for voting on each individual department in order to make any changes,” Gurtler stated.

According to the Georgia General Assembly, both bills remain in prefiled status without co-sponsors.

Representative Gurtler affirms that he will continue to relay information to residents in District 8.

“I want to continue to be as accessible and transparent with (the citizens) as I possibly can. This includes access to myself, information regarding each of my votes, and an explanation of why I voted ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on any particular bill,” Gurtler avowed.

Legislative Day 5 convenes at 10:00 am, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

 

UPDATED: Jan. 22, 2019 @ 1659

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet, attracting more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties, as well as Clay and Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week, reaching between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

Rep. Matt Gurtler: First out of trench, last to step off battlefield

News, Politics
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler is intent on bringing principles back to politics, and the District 8 leader appears reinvigorated after attending the recent National Liberty Coalition Annual Summit, Young Americans for Liberty National Convention, and the Georgia House of Representatives Republican Summer Caucus.

Gurtler, a staunch proponent of local control, fiscal responsibility, and free markets, is serving his second-term representing the citizens of Towns, Union, White, and Rabun County at the State Capitol.

Gurtler says that the summit, convention, and caucus provided opportunities to discuss pertinent matters such as government accountability, transparency, and the importance of principled policies.

“We must have a higher standard when it comes to voting, always putting principles first, and we need to get rid of the idea that the ends justify the means,” Gurtler guided, “This is where we see so many politicians ‘sell out.’ Doing the wrong thing is never the right thing. The way we get to places matters, and we must always try to do the right thing, even if it has a cost.”

Matt Gurtler

Rep. Matt Gurtler

Never one to mince words when referring to an “establishment” mentality embedded inside-and-out of politics, Gurtler asserted that state leadership does not “take kindly” to those who stand on strong principles, and lack apparent appreciation for those who seek the truth.

The Republican representative shared leadership advice offered to fellow legislators at the National Liberty Coalition Summit. “Always be the first out of the trench, and the last to step off the battlefield,” Gurtler asserted.

“Make no mistake, we are in a full-fledged war right now of ideas, a great turning point in our nation’s history,” Gurtler continued, “The collective against the individual, and this is most abundantly apparent in the clear leftist ideology that dominates academia, the media, and Hollywood. These three fields have massive control over public opinion, and are trying to shape our public policies toward a centralized State. We must be aware of this battle, and always fight to maintain our Constitution, conservative principles, and values. The values this great nation was founded upon: freedom, self-determination, and prosperity. Equality of opportunity for all, not equality of outcome.”

Gurtler says plans to create a House Freedom Caucus for the upcoming legislative session are in the works.

“Over the years, I’ve seen so many of my colleagues – including myself – become frustrated at the status quo, and how the establishment influences members to vote a certain way,” Gurtler explained, “Usually, the establishment is pushing for more big government policies, and there is no alternative group to seek a more conservative opinion and guidance. I believe now is the time to get organized and give the new incoming members, and current members, a real conservative group that truly believes, and more importantly votes, the principles of the party. We have a plan and a vision, and I’m excited to lead this charge so we can get Georgia back to a more conservative state. The Freedom caucus will be a game-changer, and the conscience of the party.”

(Feature Photo: Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia)

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