On Saturday I was lucky to participate as a panelist in the Georgia Republican Assembly debate for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, along with moderator Julianne Thompson, President of GRA, and fellow panelists Martha Zoller and Rachel Little, newly elected Chair of the Gwinnett Republican Party.
Most of the questions were pretty softball and implied an alliance between Padgett, Harp and Johnson.
the exchanges were what you would expect from 4 Republicans getting together to talk about how to lead the party and what the priorities are in leading the party. Johnson and Harp did well, but the tension was between Padgett and Van Gundy. There could be an alliance forming between Johnson, Harp and Padgett.
Most people expect there to be three or 4 ballots to elect this chairman. In addition, many expect Van Gundy to finish first or second in the first ballot. If you add up all the straw polls to this date, Van Gundy and Padgett are close, Johnson is gaining and Harp is staying pretty steady.
Seth Harp: “My question is for BJ. BJ, when we were in Carrollton, one of the people in the audience asked you a question about what you did, and you talked about your businesses that you have and you also said something very interesting.
“You said you were partners with Steve Handel in some business venture. How can you be party Chairman and be fair to Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, Paul Broun, or any other candidate, assuming that Karen [Handel] gets in the race and you’re partners with her husband?”
BJ Van Gundy: “It’s very simple. It has nothing to do with the party at all.”
In the second round, BJ took the fight to John Padgett:
BJ Van Gundy: “Thank you, this is for John Padgett. I think a lot of people in this room have probably seen the video of the Clarke County Convention from last year and what happened in the ten minutes immediately as it finished.”
“My question is, John, what would you have done differently, possibly, after that convention, or would you have done anything differently.” Continue reading