Sure, it's probably a coincidence.
Two years ago, Karen Chrjapin became the first female executive director of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, just a few days after Debbie McCord was elected as the first female chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party.
Two weeks ago, Chrjapin resigned as director of the chamber. In three days, McCord will begin winding down her term as chairman of the GOP.
McCord likely will be replaced as party chairman by Lawrence Hammond, who a couple of years ago resigned as a member of the Chamber executive board - after, among other things, a dispute with Chrjapin.
Yep, probably just a coincidence - but still a little weird.
The party holds its precinct mass meetings Saturday in the meeting room at the Columbia County School Board office on Hereford Farm Road. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m., and anyone who professes to be a Republican - whatever that even means anymore - can participate. Each of the county's precincts will elect delegates and alternates to the party convention, which will be held in March.
It's at the March 14 convention that Hammond is favored to become the next chairman, though there is absolutely certain to be some sort of ginned-up, nonsensical drama by some of the usual suspects.
Most of that drama likely will center around the standard complaint that local elected officials ignore party officials unless they need their help during an election.
But the fact is that Columbia County's Republican Party exists in a vacuum of near irrelevance - and it's the Democrats' fault.
In the November elections, not a single Democrat ran for local office. That meant every local Republican candidate sailed into office without opposition. Under that circumstance, what good is the party?
The best thing for local Republicans would be a resurgence of local Democrats. The Democrats' new chairman, Gwen Freeman, is building on a small perception of Obama momentum to do just that.
If they're able to recruit candidates to actually make some races happen, the Republicans would then be better able to define themselves by contrast. And elected officials would have a reason to compete for their loyalty.
In the meantime, it's two years until more elections roll around, and one of the reasons McCord is ready to step down as chairman is that she wants to be able to take a more active role in helping candidates.
If the Democrats make good on their party-building efforts, McCord and her fellow activists might actually have some work to do.
Here come the judges
Speaking of work, there's a lot of it during the next couple of days involving hand-raising.
Columbia County Chief Magistrate Wade Padgett will raise his hand in Atlanta today to be sworn in as the newest superior court judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, replacing retired Duncan Wheale.
The instant that happens, under an order by the local superior court judges, Associate Magistrate Bobby Christine will become chief magistrate. Christine will then be sworn in Thursday at the Columbia County Justice Center in Evans.
I don't believe we could find two better men for either post. Congratulations to them both.
Congratulations, too, to my wife. Today is the 48th anniversary of her birth, which is how I say "happy birthday" without giving her age.
Some folks might think she'd be horrified by such a revelation; she doesn't really care. But in a short couple of years, when the half-century mark hits, that might be a different story.
In the meantime, I'm thrilled to know we've been married for half as many years as she's been alive. And I'm happy to know that, for the next six months, I'll be able to constantly remind her that I'm still 47.
Happy birthday, sweetie!
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.