The embattled Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, David Shafer, has announced he will not stand for a third term at the helm. Shafer’s time will be remembered for many things, among them how many elected Republicans lost trust in the party as an ally come election time. Rumors swirled ahead of the 2022 election season of him engaging in recruitment of candidates to run primary challenges to incumbent Republicans. As a result, whoever gets elected to replace Mr. Shafer will have to put the flames of many bridges out before they can start to rebuild the lost trust the party experienced under his tenure.
In Shafer’ s announcement he mentioned his close friend, as well as good friend of mine, former State Senator Josh McKoon was ready to run for chairmanship, bringing the total number of candidates in the race to three.
We told y’all a while back that we thought Rebecca Yardley, the current 9th Congressional District Republican Party Chair, was planning to get in the race. When she formally announced she had a ton of activists endorse her campaign, including Peach Pundit’s own Kelvin King and Louise Grizzard. I have seen her at the Gold Dome this legislative session having meetings with elected Republicans in support of her campaign.
The third candidate is Dennis Futch, which explains why, even though we have never met, I received a Christmas Card from him in the mail. I cannot really tell you much about Mr. Futch just yet, although Remy the Rumor Mill says to stay tuned.
But of the three candidates here, I am closest with McKoon. He has been a great help to me in many ways and I have seen him as a genuine person who has been unfairly hounded by the media over the years for being, *gasp*, an actual conservative. I called him over the weekend and greeted him with a question, “why?”
Why would anyone want that job? The party separated itself so far from elected Republicans, put several of its activists at risk of being indicted, and in doing so made itself irrelevant in any meaningful way. It feels to me like putting a down payment on a building while it is actively on fire.
I cannot divulge all of the details of our chat, but I came away with a sense that Josh sees the challenges for the next chairman clearly. He understand there are things that happened that cannot be allowed to continue. And he has conservative credentials that could help the party be relevant without being a source for knives other Republicans may find in their backs.
Don’t read this as an endorsement, because I am not going to do that yet. But I will be popping some corn and heading to Columbus in June. The race is on.