The Forsyth County Republican Party has a new chairman.
Justin Hawkins was selected as chair of the Forsyth County Republican Party on Saturday at the party’s county convention. Hawkins said he is humbled and thankful to be chosen by the party.
“It’s an amazing experience to grow up here in Forsyth and have every elected official and each member of the Republican Party support my candidacy,” Hawkins said. “It’s not about ‘I.’ It’s about what we can do over the next two years, so I’m extremely excited and going to bring about an energy and plan of action we have never seen here before.”
Hawkins previously ran for the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners District 5 seat in 2016 and was selected as the local GOP treasurer in 2015. He is a graduate of South Forsyth High School, where the meeting was held.
He did not face a challenge on Saturday.
As head of the party, Hawkins said he wants to bring the local Republican Party back to prominence.
“Candidates here in Forsyth need to look to the Republican Party to be the vehicle, so we need to become relevant again,” Hawkins said. “What I mean by that is: we are the most affluent community in the entire state of Georgia — our bank account should reflect it. We’re the most conservative county in the state of Georgia — our membership should be the highest.
“We don’t have either.”
To reach those goals, he said the party needs to grow its fundraising and drive membership for innovative new people.
“Our immediate plan is to put on three events,” Hawkins said. “One will be to raise money, one will be to show more visibility and bring in families and also to have some events toward younger, in their 20s and 30s, new families. We really want to focus an outreach program to people that don’t even know we exist, which is many and that is into the different diverse communities around our county.”
Hawkins, who is 25, said there is a need to address the younger Republican voters and that many young voters are jaded with both political parties.
“Since Donald Trump was elected, I believe the tent in the conservative cause and in the Republican Party has been expanded dramatically,” he said. “Many people in my generation voted for Donald Trump because they associate with his style, with his presence and with his not really being a politician, but someone from the outside.
“My generation is actually tired of a two-party system, but what I want to communicate to my peers is how the conservative movement, how the Republican Party and their ideals can affect their everyday life.”
Hawkins will take over for Carolyn Hall Fisher, who is seeking the state party’s first vice chair seat. Rules prevented her from seeking both positions.
“We want to thank Carolyn Fisher for her service to our party,” he said. “We as a party passed a resolution endorsing her as the first vice chair of the Georgia GOP.”