Gwinnett County commissioners John Dunn and Marcia Neaton-Griggs were joined by approximately 40 other Republican commissioners and guests from around Georgia as they worked over the course of the hour and half meeting to decide the vision and purpose of the new organization. The two Gwinnett commissioners were also appointed to Chair the Bylaws Committee, which will write the constitution and bylaws for the R.O.C.C. to be adopted at the April meeting in Savannah.
“For far too long we have neglected our elected leaders at the county level,” said Jason Shepherd, Fourth Vice-Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and co-organizer of the meeting. “If our party is going to win the State House, we must first win the county courthouse.”
The R.O.C.C. began as the vision of Crisp County Commissioner Wallace Mathis of Cordele. In recognition of his hard work, Mathis was unanimously elected the first Chairman of the R.O.C.C.
Congressman John Linder, widely credited as being one of the founders of Georgia’s modern Republican Party, gave the keynote address for the organization’s inaugural meeting. Linder cited the importance of local and county issues as being the driving force for turnout in elections.
Several Republican candidates for statewide office attended the meeting to encourage the County Commissioners in attendance. They included Cobb County Commission Chairman and candidate for Governor Bill Byrne, U.S. Senate candidate Bob Irvin and State Labor Commissioner candidate Brent Brown.