Walton County Republicans look to expand membership, increase voter turnout

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp made another visit to Monroe Thursday as he was the featured speaker at the annual Walton County GOP BBQ. Photo credit: Deborah Stewart for The Walton Tribune

WALTON COUNTY, GA (Oct. 21, 2023) – As was always the case at the annual Walton County Republican Party BBQ when it was held at the property of the late Republican Party chairman Roy Roberts, Sr., a large crowd turned up Thursday for a fall event at The Tower at Snows Mill in Walton County.

With an important presidential election coming up next year, as well as some hotly contested local primaries and non-partisan races, it is not surprising that this event again was well attended.The traditional line of campaign signs lined the driveway to the event which was named in honor of Roberts. Georgia Rep. Bruce Williamson and former Rep. Tom Kirby presented the Roberts’ family with a Resolution that had been passed at the State Capital during the 2022 legislative session at the time of Roberts’ passing honoring the late chairman’s contributions and dedication to the Republican Party.

Before introducing Gov. Brian Kemp, current Walton County Republican Party chairman, Marc McMain, urged attendees to continue Roberts’ legacy in growing the party – and in getting out the vote. He said he believes that the time is ripe for converting Democrats who are disillusioned with their party – a project he referred to it as D.C.T. – Democrat Conversion Therapy.

“Like state Rep. Mesha Mainor. She will be coming here to speak in January. Let’s give her great support. If Mesha’s flipping, imagine how many Democrats in her district are flipping,” McMain said.

Mainor, who represents Georgia’s 56th District in the House of Representatives, announced in July that she was switching to the Republican Party. McMain said she will be speaking at the January 2024 meeting of the Walton County Republican Party.

Kemp echoed some of the same sentiment, thanking Walton County for its support and attributing the fact that he is the governor and Stacy Abrams is not largely to members of the Republican Party such as those in the local delegation.

Kemp went on to list some of the successes experienced in Georgia.

“I believe there has never been a greater time to be in Georgia when you think about what we have going on in Georgia,” Kemp said, attributing much of the local success to the local representation in Walton County.

“We’ve been named the best state in the country for business by Area Development magazine – these are the professionals that pick the sites for their clients on where to go – 10th year in a row we’ve been named the best state in the country for business,” Kemp said. “Something else besides the Georgia Bulldogs that we’re number 1 at.”

Kemp also reported that Georgia has the lowest fuel price in the county, noting that suspending the gas tax for nine or ten months about a year ago saved Georgia families and businesses about $1.7 billion. He said the current gas tax suspension that is now in its second month is saving Georgians about $170 to $180 million a month.

Kemp said they are also going after gangs and human trafficking and touted the state’s support for law enforcement.

“In Georgia we’re not going to defund the police. We’re going to stand with our men and women in law enforcement and if you do bad things, we’re going to lock you up,” Kemp said. “And there is nobody in this country at the state level that has done more to raise the awareness to go after the perpetrators and support the victims of human trafficking than our First Lady, Marty Kemp and the GRACE Commission (Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education). It is really incredible to see the task force at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with the resources that your local delegation supported in the budget last year to support the Attorney General’s Office, go after human traffickers. They have rescued, just in the last year, over 116 survivors.”

Kemp said they don’t want to just indict the gangs behind the human trafficking, they want to “indict them, convict them and lock them up.”

Attendees at the Walton County GOP BBQ Thursday applaud Governor Brian Kemp.
Photo Credit: Deborah Stewart photos for the Walton Tribune

To strong support from the members in attendance, Kemp gave an upbeat and optimistic view of the economy and future of Georgia and of the Republican Party in Georgia. He promised to stay engaged even when he leaves office. Kemp will be term limited out at the end of 2026 after serving his second term in the Governor’s office. However, there is already talk of him challenging Sen. Jon Ossoff for his seat in the U.S. Senate in 2026.

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