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GOP leader launches bid in Hall
Pridemore seeking to become chairwoman of state party
Tricia Pridemore talks Saturday with Kathy Lovett, left, and Vicki Zimmerman at the Martha Hope Cabin during the Hall County kickoff of Pridemore's campaign to become state Republican chairwoman. - photo by Tom Reed

On Saturday, Tricia Pridemore was host to a Hall County launch party for her campaign to become chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party.

Since her bid was officially announced last week, Pridemore has secured several endorsements, including that of Gov. Nathan Deal.

Pridemore is running against current GOP chairwoman Sue P. Everhart, who is seeking a third two-year term, and well as Shawn Hanley, chairman of the Fulton County GOP.

Pridemore was a member of the governor's transition team and co-chairwoman of his inaugural festivities. She said the governor officially gave her his endorsement last week.

Deal's chief of staff, Chris Riley, who attended the event, said the governor's support for Pridemore was solidified back in November.

"Tricia came to see Gov. Deal to talk about her desire to run," he said. "He encouraged her to do so and said he would support her."

Pridemore said she's proud to have received the endorsement.

"I'm honored to have somebody with his depth of experience and his Republican credentials to consider our campaign and me as a candidate to be the right person to lead the state party," she said.

Others who have endorsed Pridemore, according to her campaign, are Mike Crane, 2010 GOP nominee for Congress; Carolyn Meadows, former member of the Republican National Committee and board member of the National Rifle Association; and several county GOP leaders.

About 15 people attended the event, held at the Martha Hope Cabin in Gainesville, including Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic, Deal's daughter-in-law, Denise Deal, and Hall County Republican chairman Jim Pilgrim.

Pilgrim said the Hall County GOP has not yet endorsed a candidate.

"I think (Pridemore has) an aggressive campaign," he said. "She has an uphill battle, I think, but she is very dedicated."

He said it's still very early in the race. The party's new leader will be elected at the May state GOP convention in Macon.

"We need to hear more, read more, find out more," Pilgrim said.

In a short speech to those gathered, Pridemore said one of the most critical parts of her platform is keeping the Republican Party's momentum moving out of the successful Nov. 2 elections. She noted grass-roots outreach and using the support of active student organizations, with nominating a Republican president in 2012 one of her main goals.

"We've got to be able to work together and unify across the state, take the same army of folks that made Nov. 2 possible and get them energized and ready for 2012," she said.

The Hall County Republican Party will hold its precinct meeting to elect delegates to the Hall County Republican Party Convention at 10 a.m. Feb 12 at the Sprout Springs Library.

The Hall County convention will follow at 10 a.m. on March 12 at the Gainesville Elks Lodge. The state convention will be held on May 13 in Macon.

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