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Young GOP delegate set for big show
White County Republican chairman off to convention in Minnesota
Josh Turner, the 22-year-old chairman of the White County Republican Party, is the only area delegate going to the Republican National Convention. The convention starts Monday in St. Paul, Minn.

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You can't accuse Josh Turner of a lack of ambition.

At 22, he is the chairman of the White County Republican Party and was a key player in the 9th District party convention held in Cleveland. His favorable impression on his fellow Republicans led them to elect him as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday in St. Paul, Minn.

Friday, his bags were packed and he was ready for the big trip.

"This is very exciting," said Turner, who graduated earlier this month with a degree in political science from North Georgia College & State University.

"It was exciting when I was elected and it's been building ever since. I've got my clothes packed and am ready to go," he said.

His work has not gone unnoticed. "Josh is a bright, young, conservative Republican," said U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, who gave Turner high marks for his organization of the district convention. "He has a great future ahead of him."

When Turner was a boy, his parents, Dwayne and Connie Turner, encouraged talk about politics and current events around the family dinner table. "They didn't try to push their own politics on us," Josh Turner said. "They let us come up with our own opinions."

When he was home-schooled in seventh grade, he spent a day following White County Probate Judge Garrison Baker as he conducted an election in 1998. "That probably jump-started my interest in politics," Turner said.

Turner realizes that his zeal for politics is not typical in a man his age. "When I go to a district meeting and look at other county party chairmen, most of them are much older.

One of my pet peeves is that people my age are complaining about the issues, but they won't get involved by just voting," he said, adding that the lack of young voters is a problem for Republicans and Democrats alike.

Turner is going to St. Paul with a college friend, Brince Manning, who shares his interest in politics. Manning is currently on a Washington internship with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

Finding something to do shouldn't be a problem. Turner's mailbox has been filled with invitations to receptions being held by everyone from Gov. Sonny Perdue to the state's corporate giants.
"There is something every day and the schedule is getting pretty full," he said.

He has packed a weeks worth of suits and ties in his suitcase. He has purchased a pair of comfortable dress shoes he hopes will serve him well with the expected amount of walking.

He is posting a daily blog of his events on his Web site. Among the things he would like to post is a picture of himself with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the GOP's presidential nominee to-be. He would also like to meet former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to whom he is pledged as a delegate.

"I've seen Sen. McCain at a distance in Washington, but I've never met him," Turner said.

He is also anxious to meet Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was announced Friday as McCain's running mate. "It would be really cool to have your picture made with the next president and vice president of the United States," he said.

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