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Fascinating people of Forsyth: Chamber official leads local GOP

About this series

This article is the latest in an ongoing Sunday series spotlighting some of the fascinating people in Forsyth.

Previous articles

* Leading the charge for Sharon Springs

* County native enjoys serving the community

* Teaching far more than dance

* Fighting the stigma of addiction

* Learning to lead

* A homegrown lawmaker

* School social worker helping the homeless

* Former nurse leading hospital to new heights

CUMMING -- It’s expected to be an exciting year for political candidates on every level, and the leader of Forsyth County’s largest party is excited to watch it play out.

Jason Mock, director of small business for the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, has served as chair of the Forsyth County Republican Party since last spring. He has spent much of the past year preparing for this year’s general election.

Prior to being selected as chairman, Mock had worked for the GOP in a variety of ways, from local elections to campaigning for Sen. John McCain during his presidential run. He credits his upbringing as a reason for supporting the party as an adult.

Voters, both in Forsyth and nationwide, are still deciding on the right candidate to represent the party in the 2016 election, which Mock said likely will have huge implications.

As the head of the local party in one of the most heavily Republican counties in the state and region, Mock has been selected as one of Forsyth’s most fascinating people.

Question: Could you give some of your political background before becoming chair of the Forsyth County Republican Party?

Answer: “I kind of got my start when I was in college at the University of West Georgia and got involved with the College Republicans there. [I] really fell in love with the political process and the campaign process of politics.

“I was out there campaigning, not only for local folks but statewide folks. I remember my first grass-roots campaign event was going to Cobb County for then-state Sen. Sonny Perdue, who was running for governor at that time.

“Once I graduated college, I was able to go on and work for Congressman Lynn Westmoreland on the campaign side when he was running for a second term in Georgia’s 3rd Congressional

“Then I was blessed to get an opportunity to go to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul., Minn., and I was in charge of their page program. So I was overseeing about 120 young adults.

“From there, I got an offer to go to Scranton, Pa., to work for Sen. John McCain on his campaign … I was blessed to go to a battleground state and work a phone bank and a phone center there, where we were gathering volunteers and making phone calls on a daily basis, seven days a week and trying to gather support.”

Q: Following the election, what brought you to Forsyth County?

A: “I came back home to Georgia to kind of figure out what my next move was going to be. I knew I wanted to still be in the political process. I took some time off and in 2009 moved to Forsyth County to work on a congressional campaign.

“Mike Evans was running for the seat recently held by then Congressman Nathan Deal, now Gov. Nathan Deal … we thought we had an awful good chance. But as time moved forward, we realized that opportunities were not there and it was better to suspend the campaign before we moved too much further in.

“There was an opportunity here at the chamber, which I applied for and I’ve been here ever since.”

Q: What is it like leading the GOP in Forsyth County, which has a reputation of heavily supporting the party?

A: “First of all, it’s an honor. Forsyth County is a staple not only in the state of Georgia, but in the Southeast.

“People look at our county from the political side and talk about the that strength we have when it comes to the number of residents, the number of voters that are turning out for the Republican ticket and the Republican Party in general.”

Q: How has it been during an election year?

A: “It’s a challenging time. I’ll say it’s a good time. It’s exciting. I’m getting calls on a daily basis about people wanting to get involved, especially now that the Iowa Caucus just took place and the debates have been going on for a while.

“People are really getting involved and getting geared up and excited about it. We’re only a few weeks away from [March 1] and being able to vote in Georgia for the next president.

“I think there are still people — at least, here in Georgia — and around the party that are still undecided. There’s a strong group of people that have picked their candidate and are out there campaigning for them.

“The 2016 election is about our future. The next president is going to have a lot of challenges, as well as opportunities, in front of him or her, and they’re going to have to face those challenges head on.

“I think the American people want some change and they want a different direction.”

Q: Finally, what is something you would describe as fascinating about yourself?

A: “I don’t know if this is fascinating, but I was blessed to be raised by two loving parents that instilled into me hard work and ethics, that I hope that I keep with me today and utilize in my work as well as in the party.

“I think that is what kind of instilled into me the values of the Republican Party and what they stand for and the work ethic they have, so that’s kind of why I’ve fallen into the Republican Party.”