A change in state party rules has prevented Hall County Republican Party members from endorsing candidates for statewide office.
The Republican County Committee met Saturday with plans for votes that would have allowed the chairman, Jim Pilgrim, and the rest of the executive committee to endorse Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in his re-election bid and U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, for governor.
But then an announcement was made that the new rule, approved by the Georgia Republican Party on May 16, "would prevent our local party from achieving our intended goal," Pilgrim said in an e-mail.
"We will respect the new state rule change and step back to regroup," he added.
The rule says state and county committee members, along with other leaders and party officials, "shall not use their official title in any manner in connection with their support of any candidate for the Republican nomination ... in primaries where there is at least one other Republican candidate."
"I think the intent and actions of the Republican Hall County Executive Committee are evident," Pilgrim said.
"We are proud to have two renowned individuals from Hall County running for the top (two) offices in the state of Georgia."
Deal and Cagle "are to be commended on their efforts on behalf of Hall County, the 9th District and the state of Georgia," Pilgrim said.
Only now, he said, the goal of Hall County Republicans is more broad, rather than focusing on specific candidates.
"What we’ll do now," he said by phone Sunday afternoon, "is what we always do — we’ll work to get Republicans in office."