Published Sunday, March 10, 2013
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
At Saturday’s Coweta County Republican Party convention, attendees elected a new executive committee and named delegates to the upcoming district convention.
A straw poll was held to gauge opinions on potential candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss.
Brant Frost V is the new chairman of the party. Other new members of the executive committee are First Vice Chair Luke Large, Second Vice Chair Linda Menk, Vice Chair for Governmental Relations Chris Fast-Owen, Vice Chair for Operations Krista Frost, Vice Chair for Communications Kathy Stover, Vice Chair for Finance James Camp, Vice Chair for Membership Rodney Robinson, Secretary Helen Sherman, Assistant Secretary Shelby Barker, Treasurer Brian Cochrum, Assistant Treasurer Stan Martin and Third District Rep. Keith Tompkins.
At Saturday’s county convention, the membership of the executive committee was expanded from seven members to 12.
Frost’s father, Brant Frost IV, asked to change the rules of the convention so that he could give a brief nominating speech for his son.
He said giving the nominating speech was “particularly poignant” because “22 years ago today, in this very room, I nominated his grandfather to be chairman of our party. His grandson was 10 months old.”
Near the beginning of the convention, newly-elected State Rep. David Stover was named convention chairman. Committee members were named shortly thereafter.
The nominating committee presented the slate of officers, and there was a motion for an additional slate substituting current Treasurer Larry Prather, but the original slate was overwhelmingly approved.
Congressman Paul Broun of Athens was the overwhelming winner of the straw poll, with 67 percent. Congressman Phil Gingery came in second, with 20 percent. Both congressmen are physicians.
Former Secretary of State, and gubernatorial candidate, Karen Handle was a distant third with 6 percent, and Congressman Jack Kingston of Savannah got 2 percent of the vote.
Several of the delegates had spare time Saturday to chat and discuss issues during various recesses.
Delegates Ed Stone, of GeorgiaCarry.org , Keith Tompkins, who owns a gun range, and Jack Buck talked during one the recesses.
Buck thinks a big job of the party is defining “what you really are and what you stand for.”
The Republican Party is in a period of transition, and has gotten fragmented, he said. “What do we stand for ... what is our real platform?” Buck said.
“Hopefully we can come to that without a lot of arguing. We’re all on the same side,” he said.
Stone and Tompkins talked about gun issues.
House Bill 512, which was just approved by the Georgia House of Representatives, would do away with the current prohibition on guns in bars, in churches, and on college campuses, among other changes.
During the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, “we had three adults willing to die for these kids,” Stone said.
But government rules “made it so they were armed with only courage and despair.”
Mexico has a total gun ban, and the highest crime rate in the world, Tompkins said.
“Just because somebody abuses their rights, I don’t have to lose mine,” he said. “I’m exercising my First Amendment rights, so hopefully we don’t have to lose our Second Amendment rights,” he said.
Steven Davison, a former party chairman, talked about the health care industry, particularly physical therapy. His company makes exercise equipment for the physical therapy industry.
Obamacare is “running physical therapists out of business,” Davison said.
He said he’s seeing many therapists retire early, or quit the business altogether, because of “all these regulations.”
“I’m here because I’m trying to make a little difference, with one vote,” Davison said. “Health care is my life.”