Saturday’s district convention of the Dawson County Republican Party ushered in a new chairman.
Local native Clint Bearden, 27, was elected to lead the group for the next two years.
Bearden, who became involved in Republican politics at the University of Georgia and worked for numerous elected officials including Nathan Deal in Washington, said he is humbled and honored to have the opportunity.
“For me, I have always had a great appreciation of, and belief in, those core principles that helped shape the Republican Party,” he said.
“I truly believe that those principles, and the people who have believed in them and worked hard to advance and protect them, are a large part of the reason that the United States of America is the greatest nation that the world has ever known.”
Clint Smith, a former state representative, had held the position since 2007.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have served as your chairman for the last four years. It’s time to elect some new leadership that will continue to move the party this day forward,” Smith said.
Bearden presented Smith with a plaque and read a resolution in his honor.
The group also announced the creation of the Charles C. Smith Scholarship in honor of Smith’s father, which will be awarded to a graduating Dawson County High School senior pursuing a career in the military.
Smith said his father was heavily involved in Dawson County’s emergence from a Democrat county in the 1980s to one of the most conservative Republican counties in the state.
“This is a great way to honor my father ... and to honor the military,” Smith said.
Bearden said he hopes to grow the local party at a grassroots level and encourages residents involvement, which he added “is the foundation for the successes of the Republican party.”
“We want to reach out to like minded conservative individuals within our county, encourage them to share their opinions on the issues and encourage them to get involved,” he said.
Bearden said one if his priorities as chairman is to increase the local party’s active membership
“We need citizens, especially our county’s younger individuals and families, to get involved now and to help ensure that the America that our children grow up in is as great as the one that we have all been blessed with,” he said.
He also plans to continue providing opportunities for local residents to interact with their “Republican local, state and federal elected officials and to discuss the issues that are important to them and to our community,” he said.
For more information about the Dawson County Republican Party, visit www.dawsoncountyrepublicanparty.org.