Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Davidson County Republican Party (DCRP) meets for Reorganization Convention. Rousing speeches, election of new leaders.

James Garrett
by James Garrett, Former Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party, February 12, 2023 - The Davidson County Republican Party (DCRP) met Saturday morning, February 11, 2023, for their biennial County Party Reorganization to elect its officers and key grassroots leaders for the next two years.  Members of the State Republican Party leadership attended, including Chairman Scott Golden, who spoke to the crowd once the event got underway, and members of the State Executive Committee. 

The energy was high as the DCRP Reorganization was kicked off with outgoing Chairman, Jim Garrett, welcoming the crowd.  Linda Knight offered the opening prayer and shared tributes, followed by a moment of silence, in memory of Republican leaders who have passed away since the last Reorganization in 2021.  Those remembered were Phil Valentine, Tootie Haskins, Tim Skow, John L. Ryder, and Maclin P. Davis Jr.  Then Chairman Garrett led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag.  This was followed by recently-naturalized citizen, Tobias “Tobi” Maier, leading the Salute to the Tennessee flag.    

Impassioned speeches given by U.S. Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) and the newly-appointed Chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, U.S. Congressman Mark Green, M.D. (R-TN-07) rallied the enthusiastic attendees with news and promises of actions to be taken in the days and weeks ahead in Washington DC.  Both effective speeches preceded the day’s main agenda.  Also present were dignitaries including Congressman Rose’s Chief of Staff, former Congressman Van Hilleary, and Metro Councilman Robert Swope.

The Chairman of the Contest and Credentials Committee (C&CC), John Richardson, took the stage and guided delegates/attendees through the proper procedures of the election as dictated by the current DCRP Bylaws utilizing Roberts Rules of Order. Throughout the process, the Parliamentarian, John Wendt, was consulted for clarification of several items.  A delegate moved to waive the requirements in the State and County Bylaws stating qualifications for individuals to be qualified to hold County Party office.  Initially, the Chairman of the C&CC ruled that the motion was not proper.  Then, a motion was made to reconsider the Chairman’s ruling.  That motion was voted down by the attendees.

The Davidson County Election Commission was kind enough to provide voting machines and a bipartisan staff to facilitate accurate ease of voting and potential changes in candidates arising from nominations made from the floor.  In the end, the machines were used only once for two positions – 1st Vice-Chairman which was uncontested and 2nd Vice-Chairman which was contested.  Ten of the twelve positions up for election, including that for Chairman, were elected by acclamation of the attendees.

The Reorganization proceeded with the election of a full slate of County Executive Committee officers. 

Those elected to be officers of the County Executive Committee were:

  • Lonnie Spivak – Chairman
  • Laura Nelson – 1st Vice-Chairman
  • Dia Hart – 2nd Vice-Chairman
  • John Wendt – Recording Secretary
  • Larry Charles “Chuck” Grimes – Corresponding Secretary
  • Shannon McGuffin – Treasurer
  • Leroy “Johnny” Ellis – Assistant Treasurer 

The final round of floor nominations was accepted for key activist positions of Regional Vice-Chairmen.  As candidates for these positions were uncontested, an easy voice vote brought the voting portion of the agenda to a close. 

The introduction of the recently-elected Young Republican (YR) officers was supported with a hearty round of applause.

The newly-elected Chairman, Lonnie Spivak, in his closing comments, said: 

Together, the new board and I will work tirelessly to uphold the values of the Republican Party and promote the principles of limited government, individual freedom, and fiscal responsibility.  In the coming weeks and months, we will reach out to all of Davidson County who have not yet found the Republican Party, listen to their concerns, and strive to find solutions that benefit our community in a way that expands our numbers and promotes our values.

I am committed to making our party more engaging, and representative of the diverse perspectives and needs of our county.  Together we will work to build a strong and united party, where every voice is heard and Every Vote Counts.  Let us move forward towards a brighter future for our city and our great state.

Overall, this was a highly successful reorganization, and the Republican Party in Davidson County is sure to see future success.

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