SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Thousands of Republicans from across Georgia are gathering in the Hostess City this weekend for the state’s 2019 GOP Convention.
Organizers say the two-day event at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center will help shape the party’s priorities for the next couple of years.
In addition to planning for the future, many Republicans are also celebrating recent victories like the passage of the heartbeat bill. Now a law, it bans abortions after six weeks or at the first detectable heartbeat.
Many groups, like the Georgia Life Alliance, pushed hard to bring the heartbeat bill to life in Georgia law.
“We put a lot of effort into crafting a bill that’s based on science,” Georgia Life Alliance Executive Director Joshua Edmonds. “It’s based on increasing access to care for, for women and families and helping our communities strive here in Georgia.”
Republican convention delegates and supporters are also focusing on shaping their party’s future — and growing the GOP in the state.
“By really connecting with communities and listening to what’s important to them and helping us understand minority communities in the state — young people, more women,” explained Georgia GOP chair candidate Scott Johnson, adding, “We understand what’s important to them, but they understand there’s a place for them in the Republican Party.”
Georgia GOP Convention delegate Elaine James echoed the notion.
“There are a lot of stereotypes and perceptions of the GOP,” she said. “That is my faith and my prediction, in the next couple of years you’re gonna see more diversity my because myself and many others are forerunners.”
Changing the public’s perception about diversity in Georgia’s GOP is just one of the priorities, but topping that list is maintaining momentum. Many are keeping their eyes set on the 2020 presidential election.
“A lot of us are going to be pushing to make sure that Donald Trump is re-elected, continues this momentum, keeps Georgians first,” said Rep. Ron Stephens (R-District 164).
“We’re going back after some of the folks we lost the last time around,” he added. “Since Donald Trump will be at the top of the ticket. Since the economy is just humming, things are doing well.”
The convention will reopen for registration Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. It wraps up in the evening with dinner and dancing.