Republican officials preached party solidarity at the Columbia County Republican Convention on Saturday.
"If you really do care about who is going to run the nation over the next four years, it begins right here," U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., said to the more than 80 people attending the convention at Greenbrier High School.
Norwood stumped for President Bush and attacked Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the convention.
"He doesn't believe in a capitalistic society," he said of Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. "He believes in a socialist society."
Comparing Kerry to former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, Norwood said Bush is well-positioned to win re-election, despite national media claims to the contrary.
"Mickey Mouse and Goofy could get 48 percent of the vote if they have a 'D' behind their name," he said.
Also speaking in support of the president, Herman Cain, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, called Bush "the best man for the job."
Making his second appearance in as many weeks to Columbia County Republicans, Cain again promoted his platform of eliminating the current tax code in favor of a national sales tax, less government interference in health care and restructuring Social Security. Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and the associate minister of an Atlanta Baptist church, is one of the Republican candidates vying for the seat Democratic Sen. Zell Miller is vacating.
Although unable to attend, representatives for Cain's Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson, spoke on his behalf.
"I'll go to battle with you any day of the week," Assistant District Attorney Mike Carlson read from a letter written by Isakson to conventioneers.
Isakson stated in the letter that he wants to balance the federal budget, reduce pork-barrel spending, replace the tax code and nominate conservative judges to the federal bench.
Other speakers, including state Rep. Ben Harbin and Columbia County Board of Commissioners Chairman Ron Cross, asked Republicans to begin working together in support of party candidates.
"The Democrats in Atlanta think they will take over again," Harbin said. "They're arrogant enough to think that Sonny Perdue was a fluke. They think Republicans taking over the (state) Senate was a fluke. We need to show them it wasn't."
Also at the convention, the party chose 54 delegates and the same number of alternates to attend the district convention in Winder, Ga., on April 3.
Columbia County Party Chairman Lee Muns was re-elected to his post as was Secretary Pat Goodwin. Deborah Broder, Charles Allen and Jody Thigpen were elected to fill out the remaining officer spots in the county party.
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