Meet the New Leadership Team... Chairman Bill Connor, Vice Chair Jim Pratt and Secretary Sandra Hicks Bryan !!
Like we said in our last post, our official postholding in the SCGOP came to a close today, as the 6th Congressional District held it's quadrennial convention today. It was a long day of sign hanging, envelope filling, snack preparation and registering delegates. No, we were far from the most active in doing these things... The credit for that needs to go to June Brailsford, Nancy Cave and Barbara Ardis from Clarendon County, who did an unbelievable amount of work to make sure everything went smoothly today - and it did.
We've been to a few of these district and county conventions, and they are not the prettiest things. There are usually lots of internal battles, which often cause the people involved to hold grudges for way, way too long. The 6th District doesn't have that problem... We're all involved in an almost impossible to win area, and that allows us to work together in a common cause - with a common enemy: Jim Clyburn. So, today was a gigantic lovefest of 100+ delegates and others in attendance, and it translated to a smooth selection and transition to the new leadership - Chairman Bill Connor, Vice Chairman Jim Pratt, both from Orangeburg, and Columbia's Sandra Hicks Bryan. All won by acclamation, with literally no opposition - and really, there shouldn't have been..
Why? Because everyone got who they wanted. We had been petitioning Connor for months (we being the Four Horsemen), and Connor brough along Pratt, who was a great second choice. Bryan expressed an interest soon before the convention, and VOILA! - we had our team.
Seriously, it all went smooth as silk. Even the ten-way national delegate race was friendly. They all kept it under the two minute limit, and those who won didn't go overboard, and those who didn't weren't pouting. Congrats to Moye Graham and Dr. Joe Flowers of Walterboro for winning (Moye got an amazing 87%), and here's hoping that Janis Blocker and Celestine Parker get to go as delegates, and not alternates once the RNC gives us our full slate back...
Yeah, we had a pretty sweet array of guests from the party: SCGOP Chair Chad Connelly, RNC Committeemen Cindy Costa and Glenn McCall, SCGOP First Vice Chair Lin Bennett and Third Vice Chair Adam Piper... Also getting some mic time were candidates from Senate 36 Rev. Leon Winn (Sumter/Clarendon), House 97 Jordan Bryngelson (Dorchester) and House 91 Ben Kinlaw (Barnwell/Orangeburg).
But before they arrived, I had the priviledge (and pressure) of being the first speaker. As usual, I went a bit long, but I riled the crowd into a total frenzy with my farewell address, which I could best describe as a hybrid of MLK's 'I Have a Dream' and Reagan's Berlin Wall speeches. At least that's how I saw it, but I could be wrong..
Then Tom Grimes gave a pretty heartfelt goodbye after 14 years of District leadership... Yeah, he got a little teary ( I OTOH am incapable of crying due to damaged tear ducts from a freak onion peeling accident), which made me feel bad, because I knew I had a napkin - but I couldn't find it! Turns out it was in my coat pocket. Sorry buddy!
Tom got a lot of props from almost everyone in attendance (he actually got a standing ovation), which was well deserved, but also made me realize something - a lot of the State Party leaders have no idea who I am! It's understandable, but all the 'Hey Pal's while staring at my nametag let me know that I have some work to do - one that I will rectify. So, last night's anonymous commenter was partially right...
Overall, it was a fast meeting with NO infighting - just a slew of Republicans having a good time, taking care of business and working as a team. Thanks to all the delegates who came to Manning, and to Todd Kincannon for being Convention Chairman...