By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
The Republican Party is in the midst of change. Since the stark results of the 2012 national election, conservative pundits have been touting the GOP’s need to revitalizetheir party’s base with “new blood.”
And while Marco Rubio and Rand Paul take on the national issues, Floyd County has people like Layla Shipman, who was just elected to be Chair of the Floyd County Republican Party. On Saturday, the Floyd County Republicans held their annual election of officers at their convention. Much like its national counterpart, the convention featured speakers, the reaffirmation of party positions and some contentious races, including the chairman seat.
To fill the spot previously held by noted Rome Radiologist Dr. J Dan Hanks, two candidates stepped forward; Planning Commission member Nathan Roberts and Shipman, who is the previous chair of the Floyd County Young Republicans. Both pled their case before party members before the big vote.
Shipman says her election to the chair demonstrates the party’s revival, beginning at its grassroots.
“The main things I ran on were party unity, party growth and party involvement. And I think by electing a younger woman in this position we’re showing we do believe in the leadership of women and we’re an inclusive party,” she says. “We’ll be reaching out to the community. We’re going to be a more community service organization. And I think by the election of a woman---especially a young woman—-shows that the party is changing, and we’re going to be a force to reckon with in these next couple of years.”
All elections coming up in the next couple of years are local, and both Shipman and the Floyd County Republicans have their sights on filling every seat with a conservative. In the meantime, Shipman says the local Republicans will transition into more of a community-aid organization, stepping in in-place of Government.