The race to replace Sue Everhart as chairman of the state GOP may be over before it really got started.
On Sunday afternoon, former state senator Chip Pearson of Dawsonville – the first announced candidate in the contest – has pulled out of the contest. That leaves B.J. VanGundy, now second vice-president in the GOP hierarchy, as the only active candidate.
VanGundy was a top Newt Gingrich operative in Georgia during the presidential primary, and was recently nominated by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to the state’s newly re-authorized charter school commission.
In withdrawing from the race, Pearson cited the press of other interests. A few paragraphs from a note he sent to supporters on Sunday afternoon:
It has been my hope to lead that charge here in Georgia and help take the Georgia GOP to the next level in the process. In fact, many of you had helped us start the preliminary framework for a new party model this last fall. I believe the plan we sketched out is sound, prudent, and obtainable for Georgia to maintain and grow not only our majority, but a conservative base for the next decade. I am willing to support this plan and effort, and anyone who supports it.
Unfortunately, at this time I have determined that with family first, and work second being priority, as well as commitments at church, Boy Scouts and Civil Air Patrol, I do not have the necessary time to dedicate to the position of party chairman and do the kind of job that is expected or deserved. This is certainly not a decision that I have made lightly, and I expect will disappoint most of you as it does me. Possibly at some point in the future I will be able to consider this position or another, but that time is not now.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider