One Atlanta conservative unsettled by the behavior of the Fulton County Republican leadership at their party’s convention last month said too many members of the old GOP establishment resist change — and put the party in peril.
Rob Cunningham told The Georgia Star News this week that “the call to get engaged [among the grassroots] is being heeded.”
“The great awakening, if you want to call it that, is occurring at the smallest county level, all the way up to Liz Cheney. People are demanding this tyrannical rule-of-man versus rule-of-law stop,” Cunningham said.
“I think people are sick and tired of the rule-of-man versus the rule of arbitrary opinion. People are flocking into the system, and the old guard is cornered, foaming at the mouth, and doing everything they can to attack and stop us from getting involved and seeing what they’ve been doing.”
Last month’s convention in Alpharetta pitted establishment Republican leadership against grassroots supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump. Witnesses complained about shenanigans that establishment members pulled to preserve their power and keep grassroots Trump supporters at bay.
Members of the Fulton County GOP did not return an emailed request for comment this week.
“Who and why is the driving force behind somebody to hold on to a voluntary unpaid position in a political party that has failed, that didn’t do well in 2020? Grassroots people show up [at the convention]. They want to make a difference. They want to participate. They want to be engaged in the game. They are fighting. It’s a hill they are willing to die on,” Cunningham said.
“The GOP was feckless in 2020. Stacy Abrams and Brad Raffensperger had their way. They had all of their yucks and grins when they won in 2020. Then there was the U.S. Senate runoffs in 2021. People didn’t show up. People were disheartened. They got their asses kicked again. And now in Fulton County they are going to try to steal the election from all of these eager new people. If they think they can go back-to-back-to-back-to back with Trump, the U.S. Senate, the Fulton County GOP and also screw up three of those elections and try to tell the voters about election integrity and then have voters turn out in 2022 then they’ve lost their damn minds. They have utterly lost their minds.”
At that same convention, Fulton County GOP members tussled over whether to keep an establishment Republican incumbent as its chair or go a different path and elect new blood. Members had to choose between incumbent Trey Kelly and newcomer Susan Opraseuth. At the end of the day, the matter went unresolved. Members of the Georgia GOP State Committee will likely have to settle the matter.
Grassroots Republicans elsewhere in Georgia have complained of similar problems with party leadership.
Chatham County GOP members had an unsuccessful convention last month in Savannah. Witnesses described a rift between pro-Trumpers and the party establishment that provoked a shouting match that ended business prematurely before anyone could elect Executive Board members.
Cunningham posed a question for Georgia’s GOP leaders.
“Why are they willing to tank the GOP brand here in Fulton County and in Chatham County and wherever else new folks have shown up?” Cunningham asked.
“It’s almost like an abuse-of-wife syndrome. If I can’t have her then nobody can. It doesn’t make any sense — unless there is a monetization angle that I don’t know about?”
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