Why I Support John Watson for Georgia GOP Chair

In a few weeks, delegates to the Georgia Republican Convention will meet in Augusta to elect party officers. The State Party Chairman is the most visible race with four announced contestants.

I support John Watson for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. There are four key reasons.

First, I know John and have known him for a decade and a half.  He is a man of strong character and I trust him fully.  He will lead the party with integrity and trustworthiness.

Second, the largest issue with the Georgia Republican Party at this time is financial.  We face a significant shortfall and deficit.  John has been involved in Republican fundraising for more than two decades.  He was the Finance Director for the Georgia Republican Party.  He has raised millions over the years for Republican candidates. He has done it over and over again.

Third, John has a proven track record with grassroots volunteers. I worked with John in key statewide campaigns.  He has a deep appreciation for those who do the work of calling, putting up signs, going door to door, and other basic activities that it takes to win. He has a plan to provide the resources, training, and appreciative support for grassroots workers all the time, not just at election time.  (See John’s Plan Here)

Finally, John has the time.  The State Party Chair is a job that requires a significant investment of time. John is a partner in his own business. He will invest the time necessary to get the job done.

The state party chairman must connect with and raise money from those who will give major financial support to the party.  The chairman must also connect with and engage the grassroots volunteers who will be the boots on the ground.

They are like two sides of a coin.  The job cannot be accomplished without both.  I believe that for this time, John Watson is the candidate that meets and exceeds our needs.

Let me address a concerning issue. I have seen some anonymous e-mails and web sites that attack John because of his firm and one of his firm’s clients. Anonymity when attacking another person in a public forum does not cultivate a winning environment.

In simple terms, John is a lobbyist.  One of his firm’s clients is in the casino business.

John recognizes that some Republicans want, and will advocate for, casinos in Georgia. Others, like me, will adamantly oppose them. He will work for all of us.

John has developed a strong reputation through his hard work, diligence, and professionalism.  His firm represents an assortment of clients from various backgrounds. It is similar to a law firm. An attorney may represent individuals and companies for various issues ranging from horrendous criminal cases to closing on a new home.

As a lobbyist, John’s firm is in one of the most regulated and watched businesses in the state. Lobbying firms must register and report regularly on practically everything they do and the clients they represent. The reports are publicly available at the Georgia Ethics Website.

For me, the casino issue is not a make or break issue in the election of the state party chairman. The chairman must be a leader who will work for all Republicans – not just those who happen to agree or disagree with me on one issue.

John is that man. He has been open and transparent and shows the utmost respect toward all Republicans.  John Watson is the man that we need and I am supporting John Watson for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

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