The crowd of blues lovers ranged from the very conservative Congressman Paul Broun to Democrats taking the night to kick the tires on the GOP bus. It was obviously not your typical GOP event. The crowd was as diverse as Cobb County and Georgia, for that matter. There were plenty of first timers to a GOP event and from all accounts they all had a good time and got a chance to get “one on one” with many GOP candidates for office.
Outreach is a theme for the GAGOP and the RNC. Cobb County Chairman and consultant to the Georgia GOP Joe Dendy attended the event. Jason Halliburton, one of the organizers, invited other members of the GAGOP leadership who couldn’t attend due to other commitments. Halliburton said, “Going forward, we as the minority Republicans have to be unified, we can’t be split.” He went on to say, “It was amazing to see how many people did show up. It was great to see Dr. Timothy Johnson founder of the Frederick Douglas Foundation, Earl Cooper of the Fulton County GOP Vice Chair – who is running for Fulton County Commissioner at-large, and many others. It’s important to note this is not about me, it’s about all of us, from the national party, state party, and locally, we need to support each other. We must unify for 2016.”
Recently, the Georgia Republican Party in conjunction with the Republican National Committee has hired Leo Smith to fill a position dedicated to African American outreach. Smith was attending another event with former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and could not attend the Cobb County event.
To round out the night there was a straw poll for the US Senate race and the candidate that was present and making his case the hardest carried the night. With six candidates to choose from Paul Broun won over 50%. Which made him the champion of Politics and Blues…for the night. Karen Handel came in second without any staff or visible support.
Eugene Yu, Paul Broun, Barry Loudermilk & Cindi Yaeger were sponsors of the event financially. One unnamed attendee said about Halliburton, “He knows how to blend the Grand Ole Party with the new school. This combination could appropriately be the Kryptonite to the Democrat stronghold on the young as well as minority voters.”
Editor’s note: This is the kind of event every county’s Republican organization should consider hosting. I’m the president of the Republican Women of Hall and this event has made me think of new ways to engage.
Photos Courtesy of Andres Cruz-Wellmann Photography