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Local GOP encourages youth involvement
GOP pic
Members of the local GOP sign in to attend the recent meeting. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Republicans across the state met recently to select delegates to send to regional and state GOP conventions later this spring.

Barron Carlton was among a group of young voters in Dawsonville hoping to be selected to represent Dawson County at the 9th Congressional and state conventions.

"I want to be involved in politics. I want to know how it all works, so I want to be a delegate at the convention so I can actually be involved in the party, continue on and be able to basically influence society around me," Carlton said.

Addressing the Dawson County Republican Party at the March 10 county convention, Carlton said he is prepared to do the research needed to make the best informed decision for Dawson County.

"I'm going to look through at each of the candidates and make sure my vote is best for the American people. I'm here to understand where they're coming from, where they're going to and how they're going to best represent Dawson County," he said.

Carlton will be one of 12 delegates, along with 12 alternates, at the district convention April 14 in Jefferson.

Dan Pichon, who was named as a possible delegate by a five-member nominating committee, said he was encouraged by the number of young people seeking to be delegates and declined his nomination, allowing a challenging Carlton to attend the event.

"I have been a delegate. I understand the process and I'd like to see young people involved," he said.

Mike Berg chaired the nominating committee and challenged the young people in attendance to stay involved, even if they were not selected as delegates this round.

"Please come back. We need new blood to come into this party. Come back and be part of this organization. It's the only way we're going to be able to take control of our own destiny," Berg said.

Of the 282 delegates selected from counties in the 9th Congressional District, three delegates and three alternates will be chosen to go to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in September. The county will also send nine delegates and nine alternates to Columbus in mid-May for the state convention.

Dawson County Republican Party Vice Chair Chuck Gordon spoke to the crowd of nearly 40, saying he hoped Republicans will come together and support the party's presidential nominee.

"The process that we're going through as far as the primaries is a great process. It's the American way. But sooner or later one person is going to be chosen," he said. "I would hope all Republicans would get behind that person and not walk away if our person doesn't win. It's going to be real important that we keep in mind that beating Obama [is key]. It's important that we get behind our nominee."

The group's next meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 24 at the Bowen Center for the Arts.

Sen. Steve Gooch and Rep. Amos Amerson are set to give a recap of the 2012 Legislative Session.