Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Georgia GOP Picks Delegates Republicans End 2-Day Convention

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Georgia GOP Picks Delegates Republicans End 2-Day Convention

Article excerpt

SAVANNAH -- Republicans in Congress need one of their own in the White House to finish the reforms they have begun, U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell told delegates at the state GOP convention yesterday.

"We've made a big difference," said Georgia's senior senator, elected to Congress in 1992, when Democrats still held the majority. "[But] boy, do we ever need a conservative president to join up with us."

Coverdell, the Senate liaison to presumptive Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush's campaign, capped a two-day convention of the Georgia GOP at the new Savannah International Trade & Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.

After his speech, the delegates got down to convention business, electing 21 at-large delegates to this summer's national convention in Philadelphia and passing a series of resolutions taking stands on a host of issues.

Another 33 delegates were selected last month at party caucuses in each of Georgia's 11 congressional districts.

Coverdell recounted an array of legislation Republicans have enacted since winning control of Congress in 1994 or Democratic measures the GOP has blocked, such as President Clinton's controversial health-reform plan. Republicans led the way to welfare reform and tax relief and are continuing to hammer away at education, he said.

"We believe education is the purview of the states and local communities, and we're marching in that direction," he said.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Savannah Republican, charged Georgia Democrats with using teachers as a "whipping post" during this year's General Assembly session in their eagerness to pass Gov. Roy Barnes' education-reform bill.

"Let me say this to teachers: You're welcome in the Republican Party!" Kingston shouted to a burst of applause from the crowd.

The convention also heard from talk radio host Alan Keyes, who has persevered with his GOP presidential candidacy despite dismal primary results. …

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