(ATLANTA, December 6, 2007) — With a national poll showing Governor Mike Huckabee as the new leader in the race for the Republican nomination for President and many Georgia Republicans still seeking a viable conservative candidate, a leadership team is forming to put the Peach State in his win column on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008. Congressional districts are being organized and key business leaders and lawmakers are on the Governor’s campaign in Georgia.
Among the key supporters from the business community are Ron Terwilliger and Virgil Williams. Terwilliger, Chairman and CEO of Trammel Crow Residential, is active in civic circles in Atlanta and is the new owner of a yet to be named Atlanta WNBA (Women’s National basketball Franchise) franchise. Williams is a Gwinnett entrepreneur who served on the National Finance Committee for George W. Bush’s Presidential Campaign and was later named a Presidential Elector in the 2000 and 2004 Electoral Colleges. He chaired the campaigns of former Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller.
“Governor Mike Huckabee appeals to me because he is authentic and believes what he says,” said Williams of his endorsement. “It takes a bold thinker to push big ideas, such as the fair tax. From an electability standpoint, the American people are identifying with him not only because he is warm and charming, they see him as a unifying force,” said Williams.
Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise, a Presidential Elector for Bob Dole in 1996 and a surrogate speaker for the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell, is backing Governor Huckabee because he is a genuine conservative who can connect with the average Georgian.
“I don’t choose a candidate simply because he or she might have the rank and file behind them,” said Wise. “I want to be inspired. In Governor Huckabee I see a leader who is comfortable in his skin and holds steadfast to his convictions, which has resonated with voters. He will continue to surge as Americans realize he is the social conservative who can fill the current void among the field,” said Wise.
Serving on Huckabee’s Executive Committee from the General Assembly are State Representatives Ed Setzler (Executive Committee Director), Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock), Melvin Everson (R-Snellville) Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell), Mike Keown (R-Coolidge), Martin Scott (R-Rossville), Tommy Smith (R-Nicholls), Len Walker (R-Loganville), and State Senator Judson Hill (R-Marietta). See full list in progress …
The state organization will include co-directors Joe Dendy and Sam Teasley, both of Cobb County. Dendy has served in various local and state campaigns, including manager of former State Representative Roger Hines’ Congressional bid. Teasley has worked in various positions in congressional and General Assembly campaigns.
Craig Dowdy, of the law firm of McKenna, Long and Aldridge, will serve as Finance Director. Dowdy served as Cobb County Co-Chairman and member of the Georgia Steering Committee and Finance Committee for the 2000 George W. Bush for President Campaign; including the 2000 Bush Recount Team in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was Chairman, Counsel, and Treasurer for Congressman Bob Barr’s campaign committees.
Shawn Davis, a public affairs executive with Joe Tanner & Associates, will serve as Communications Director. Davis is a former press secretary for the Public Service Commission and co-chaired Governor Sonny Perdue’s reelection campaign in Cobb County.
Dave McCleary, a GOP activist in Fulton County, will coordinate the Congressional District outreach efforts.
Serving as Congressional District Directors are:
District 1: Pat Tippet and Kay Godwin
District 2: Brad Hughes
District 3: Shelby Barker
District 5: Jim Voyles
District 6: Lori Hullett
District 7: John McGee
District 8: Steve Dillard and Maurice Atkinson
District 9: Jane Teasley
District 11: Nancy Hollingshed
District 12: Susie Davis
District 13: Wayne Bray
The organization is building its coalition groups as well. Leading faith based groups will be U.D. Roberts, President and CEO of Brentwood Christian Press of Columbus. African-American outreach will be led by Catherine Davis of Stone Mountain. Supporters of the Fair Tax will be led into the Huckabee campaign by co-directors Gene Key of Fayetteville and Don Williamson of Conyers. The campaign will organize down to the county level.
Momentum for the Huckabee campaign has been building since his strong performance in the recent debates and a weekend surge in the nationwide polls. Rasmussen Reports now has Huckabee in first place for the second day straight. According to today’s tracking, Huckabee has earned the support of 21% of the likely Republican Primary voters; three points over Rudy Giuliani. In polls taken in South Carolina over December 3rd and 4th, Huckabee has also taken the lead in South Carolina for the first time in the race with 25% of the vote over Romney and Thompson, both of whom are holding at 18%.
The Huckabee surge may be stronger in Georgia than the national polls indicate. In a straw poll of Republican leaders in the 10th Congressional District, Governor Mike Huckabee emerged the clear winner with 50% of the vote. Approximately 60 Republican Party officials and public officials were in attendance at the November 30 Leadership Conference, which included U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Congressman Dr. Paul Broun, State Representatives Barbara Sims, Barry Fleming (Majority Whip), Ben Bridges, Tommy Benton, and State Senators Ralph Hudgens and Nancy Schaefer. State GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart and twenty GOP County Chairmen were present. According to the 10th District Chairman Dave Barbee, the results of the straw poll were as follows: Huckabee, 50%; Giuliani, 21%; Thompson, 15%; Romney, 9%; McCain, 2.5%; Paul, 2.5%; Hunter, 0; Tancredo, 0.
As the organization builds, updates can be found on the Georgia for Huckabee campaign website http://www.georgiaforhuckabee.com (not an official website of Huckabee for President, Inc.).
Key Supporters :
State Rep. Ed Setzler, Executive Committee Director
Joe Dendy, State Co-Director
Sam Teasley, State Co-Director
U. S. Congressman John Linder
Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise
State Sen. Judson Hill
State Rep. Harry Geisinger
State Rep. Martin Scott
State Rep. Charlice Byrd
State Rep. Mike Keown
State Rep. Tommy Smith
State Rep. Len Walker
State Rep. Melvin Everson
State Rep. Steve Tumlin
State Rep. Mark Williams
Mayor Tom Dupree
Former State Rep. Roger Hines
Former State Rep. Barbara Bunn
Former Arkansas State Rep. Kevin Goss
Shawn Davis, State Communications Director
Craig Dowdy, State Finance Director
Maria Strollo Zack
Rev. Martin Hawley
Rev. Ike Reighard