Local officials, state representatives and conservative voters turned out Tuesday night for the grand opening of the Hall County Republican Party’s headquarters in Gainesville.
For years the party lacked a centralized location, holding meetings at local hotels, the civic center and even an Elks Lodge.
But that’s all changed now with the move into a suite at the Center Office Park along Queen City Parkway.
Chairman Kris Yardley said the new headquarters will help increase membership, grow awareness about Republican candidates and spur voter turnout.
“It’s really great to have a space to be able to meet face to face with people,” he added.
State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, said the headquarters is opening at the right time as Republicans face tough tests from Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter in this year’s U.S. Senate and governor’s races.
Moreover, Miller said he believes the headquarters will help the local GOP expand its base among minorities and political independents.
Party officials said the headquarters will act as a kind of command center as the November general election nears.
Phone banks will be set up there, and volunteers can get stickers, yard signs and pamphlets to pass out to prospective voters.
State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, said the headquarters will help anchor the GOP in Georgia’s Ninth District.
“It organizes the local party much better,” he added.
The region has become a key constituency for Republicans.
For example, while David Perdue beat Jack Kingston in the Republican primary runoff for the state party’s U.S. Senate nomination by less than 2 percent of the vote, he won by nearly 20 percentage points in Hall County.
Yardley said the headquarters would likely expand in the coming months when it acquires a neighboring suite.