Forsyth County was well represented at the recent Georgia Republican Party State Convention in Macon.
In fact, officials said so many delegates and alternates showed up to fill the county’s allotted 60 slots, there were nine extra people that could not be seated for voting.
Ethan Underwood, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, said not only did everyone attend, but there were county commissioners, school board members and other community leaders “that are still active in the party and folks all worked together.”
“It really was a good show for our community that we care about the Republican Party and we’re all in it together,” he said.
In an unusual practice, Underwood said the vote for state party chair was conducted by secret ballot, a move “a lot of the folks in the county did not support.”
“From a philosophical standpoint ... as delegates, we represented people back home, and as such we ought to be able to stand up and make a vote on who we were selecting for state chair,” he said.
Incumbent Sue Everhart ended up winning her third and final term, over challengers Shawn Hanley and Tricia Pridemore, who had the backing of Gov. Nathan Deal.
But Underwood said the process took about a 90 minutes because of the secret ballots.
Underwood said there were allegations the secret balloting came about as a result of threats from high-placed officials against delegates and possibly state legislators
“A lot of delegates had concerns about the power the governor or any elected official could have over the Republican Party,” Underwood said.
“Gov. Deal I think is a very good governor and he’s a very strong governor, however I think he chose to pick the state party chair and he lost that race. I think there’s still a lot of respect for the governor, even from the folks that didn’t support his candidate.”