After nearly 13 years as the home of the Cobb County Republican Party, the Cobb GOP Headquarters located at 799 Roswell Street in Marietta is soon to be no more.
In an email sent to members of the Cobb County Republican Committee and others, Cobb GOP Chair Salleigh Grubbs outlined the reasons for the lease not being renewed in an email to party supporters. She has told the Marietta Daily Journal that the last breakfast at the location will be Saturday, June 3.
Over the past decade, the Cobb GOP HQ has served as the de facto northwest Georgia headquarters for the Republican Party. It’s status and size has allowed it to host national level speakers from RNC Chairs Reince Priebus and Ronna Romney McDaniel, to members of the Trump family (Ivanka, Tiffany, and Lara Trump) and the administration, as well as Nikki Haley, Heidi Cruz (wife of Senator Ted Cruz), former RNC Chair and MS Governor Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, and many, many others.
The building, which used to be a Post Office, had a key feature that many party HQ locations don’t have…a loading dock. Both in 2018 and 2020, the RNC used the space as a satellite office for GOTV (get out the vote) activities. This allowed bulk delivery and then distribution of campaign materials from signs to doorhangers.
However, the cost of keeping up the office has more than doubled since Roswell Street Baptist Church, which owned the strip center when the HQ was opened, devested in the property, selling it to a private owner in 2017. That May, the rent increased from under $1,218 to $1,475 a month. In 2018, it increased again to $2,361. At that point, a two year lease was signed to 2020. The three year lease signed then put the monthly rent at $3,420. I’m sure the increase in light of the fact a neighboring business wanted to expand into the space was likely more than the Cobb GOP was willing to commit, if they were even allowed to counter offer, which all indications are there wasn’t that opportunity.
It has been no secret in Cobb County that fundraising has been anemic for the Cobb GOP since it made the twin blunders of censuring Governor Brian Kemp followed by a prayer vigil for Jan 6. “patriots” who were arrested after storming the U.S. Capitol in 2021. Cobb County Committee members reported that by April 2023, the Cobb GOP had blown through 40% of the over $62,000 in reserve funds left by the previous administration, which would indicate the Party had been running approximately $1,000 a month deficits. The AJC noted that Chair Salleigh Grubbs instead blamed “Joe Biden’s inflationary construction materials” as one of the reasons the HQ could not stay in that shopping center by moving to the space in the next building.
Despite this, Salleigh Grubbs is looking for a promotion. She is the GRA backed candidate to replace outgoing Muscogee County GOP Chair Alton Russell as Chair of the Over 80,000 Caucus (the Caucus of County GOP Chairs who represent counties with a population of 80,000 or more) to have a seat on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Republican Party. Facing severe financial collapse and the imminent relocation of their base of operations, Chair Grubbs thinks the best use of her time is to instruct other county party chairs in the best practices honed in Cobb under her tenure.
The common thread here is, of course, the GRA, which, as Lane has pointed out, do not care about actions as long as the motivation behind them is pure. While on one hand, no serious person would put in a leadership position someone with Grubb’s record and who, like Grubbs, proudly proclaims on her GRA Questionnaire, “I am 57 years old but 16 in my head! LOL!“, she is the choice of the GRA’s fine membership.
As for now, the Cobb GOP will be looking for a new place to call home while their Chair and the GRA will be looking to add more titles. Soon an expanded Vespa dealership will occupy the space where Johnny Isakson flipped pancakes, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump greeted guests, Nikki Haley stumped for Kelly Loeffler, and Marco Rubio for Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan, and countless GOP volunteers found a spot to begin and end a day of volunteering.
The loss of the state of Georgia’s longest existing County GOP headquarters is just another sign of a Cobb GOP in decline in a county where Republican fortunes don’t seem to be fairing much better, especially with the 16 year old in charge.