Last Thursday, the Chattooga County GOP hosted a public forum for questions and respectful debate regarding the local Accountability Rule recently adopted by their organization. The meeting attracted enthusiastic attendance from no less than eight different counties and included four different GOP County chairs who came out to show their support for Chattooga GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Tudor and her team.
Attorney and GRA Chairman Alex Johnson answered questions from the crowd and moderated the discussion. The vast majority of comments and crowd feedback was overwhelmingly supportive with only a few who opposed the rule.
Jennifer Tudor read aloud from the 2023 Georgia Election Code Annotated a passage that says:
“Authority of Party to Refuse To Qualify a Candidate: The state and county executive committee of a political party have the authority to refuse to qualify a candidate upon a determination that such candidate does not meet the qualifications for nomination to a public office.”
Brian Pritchard, GA GOP 1st Vice Chairman also presented to the crowd his reasons for supporting the Chattooga team that implemented the rule. He shared how his area in rural Fannin County is overwhelmingly Republican and suffers from the same problems as counties like Chattooga where the community is roughly 75% Republican, making it nearly impossible to win an election as a Democrat. In these cases, Republican primaries can be flooded with Democrats in disguise. One woman in the crowd commented that this rule would help people like her who are “tired of having to hold their nose to vote Republican.”
“I’ve never had to hold my nose to vote Republican!” retorted one of the handful of men present who opposed the by-law change. “Never!”
One of the concerns brought forward was that the Accountability Rule might in the future be used arbitrarily by the local party against a candidate for no good reason. Alex Johnson shared how Chattooga citizens could remedy that problem if it ever arose by participating in the local party convention and show up to elect different leaders who could be trusted to be loyal to the principles of the party. One of the main goals of the GRA is educating grassroots Republicans so they know how to get involved in the convention process and in elections to replace people who abuse power with those who steward it with integrity. This is one of the reasons the GRA hosts parliamentary procedure trainings and mock conventions where patriots can practice making motions.
Interestingly, the Chattooga County Democrat Party used a similar Accountability power to block a candidate from running as a Democrat back in 2014. The Democrat Party Chairman wrote: “When you sign the qualifying papers, it signifies that you are a Democrat. If you wish to support the opposition, then you should feel free to do so. But, do it as a member of that opposition. We must and should expect a Democratic elected official to actually be a Democrat, and to publicly conduct themselves as one. And frankly, those of us who labor for the Party and candidates like yourself as volunteers don’t feel that’s too much to ask. We must stand for something. We have a philosophy unique to our Party as all political parties do.”