Douglas Republican chairman Ed Napier, who was elected earlier this year, noted U.S. Senate candidate and District 11 U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, has asked to speak to the Douglas party. Party leaders also are actively seeking to increase the number of dues-paying members. It has about 50 active members, he said.
Douglas Republicans also want to organize a fundraiser for local GOP candidates – and are working to find and elect a GOP candidate in House District 66, which is one of only two state legislative districts in which Douglas is the dominant county. Democrat Kim Alexander of Douglasville won the seat in 2012 and is the only county resident in the Legislature.
“We want to win elections – all the elections,” Napier said. “We know that’s a pretty ambitious goal.”
A Douglas resident and former county party officer, Michael McNeely, was elected recently as first vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party at its 2013 convention in Athens. McNeely is a former county party officer and headed the Georgia Black Republican Council.
Napier admitted President Barack Obama, a Democrat, narrowly won a majority of Douglas County votes in the 2008 and 2012 elections. However, he noted the same voters in those years chose Republicans for all the countywide offices, refuting claims Douglas has become a majority Democratic county, he said.
“Everybody has an opinion. That [countywide election results] says something else,” he said.
Douglas County Democratic Party Chairman David Good said the party meets monthly with about 30 active members and 150 members on the rolls. It is seeking candidates to run in the Douglasville city elections this fall, he said.
Good said “a lot of different people” approached him about changing the makeup of the five-member county election board earlier this year after his election in January. Republicans have a 4-1 majority on the elections board, and Good said the presidential election shows the county is almost equally split between the two parties.
The party also opposed the proposed increase in the county hotel-motel tax to 8 percent to help pay for a full-time history museum, and opposed a proposal to change the county school board to a non-partisan board.
Both the board makeup and the tax increase did not pass, but state and local officials reportedly are considering the changes in the 2014 session of the general assembly.