The Grundy County Republican Party will elect its new leadership for the upcoming 2013-14 term on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Grundy County Courthouse. According to the Tennessee Republican Party bylaws, this “reorganization” occurs every two years between Jan. 1 and March 31 of each odd numbered year.
Because Grundy County is a county of under 100,000 people, they have the option of having either a Precinct Delegated Convention or a Mass Convention; Grundy County Republicans chose the latter. All bona fide Grundy County Republicans, as defined in the TNGOP bylaws, may vote in this election.
Chairman Iva Michelle Russell said, "As my final term comes to an end, I would like to review some of our highlights. In 2010, we successfully elected a Republican U.S. Congressman, Dr. Scott Desjarlais, and the first Republican in that office since Zach Wamp. In 2012, we elected our first Republican State Senator, Janice Bowling, to represent us in a super-majority Republican state legislature and lastly, and most importantly in my world, we elected our first Republican to our county commission, Mr. Wayne Harris.
"I look forward to the next Grundy Republican leadership team continuing the trend in 2014 and onward. It is a healthy and good thing in our community to discuss issues and elect people who stand by their record. It is our job as citizens to hold them accountable.
"We have a lot of decisions and action plans to put in place, our leadership needs to know we expect that to happen in a fiscally, constitutionally and ethically responsible way. Grundy County must come first in all things and our kids and their future should be the guiding light for all our decisions.
"No successful leader does it alone. I would like to thank all the people whose convictions and strength of spirit made each success a reality. My first thank you goes to my leadership team; it has been such a great honor and great fun working with y’all, I am proud to call you friend and partner in this crazy mission we are on. Y’all rock. I would like to thank all the past leaders and people who walked before us carrying this conservative torch, especially my father, Ted Smith, who taught me the value of knowledge and a deep appreciation for the Constitution. I would like to thank Donna Basham, Grundy County administer of elections, for setting such an excellent example in our state. They have noticed. You make us proud.
"I would like to thank our Republican-majority Grundy Election Commissioners, Chairman Glenn King, Alf Adams and Mary Margaret Willems. Your wisdom and sense of fairness and correctness has been invaluable to our election process. I would like to thank Julia Pirtle for all her years of committed service on our behalf. You are such a rock in this raging sea of life.
"Without a doubt, I would like to thank the citizens of Grundy County who have finally embraced the reality of a new era of conservative leadership; there is no other place in this entire world I would rather be than right here with you. Lastly, I would especially like to thank those who fearlessly jump into the political fray to make a difference. Win or lose, actions speak louder than words, and you walk the talk. You are all my heroes.
"And finally, I would like to thank President Barack Obama and the Liberal Left. You have made us all finally realize that what we hold dear could vanish with the sweep of a pen. I am confident that In Grundy County and in Tennessee, that won’t happen on our watch. You can take that to the bank and cash it."