Karen Floyd has been on her new job as Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party for a little more than a week and she says she feels like she is “trying to drink water from a fire hydrant” but she is growing more comfortable daily in her position as the first woman to lead the State GOP.Floyd says she knows she has some big shoes to fill following outgoing Chairman Katon Dawson who served for seven years. The State GOP won 82 percent of the races in which they filed a candidate and raised $19 million dollars during Dawson’s tenure. Floyd says she does not feel intimidated following the success of Dawson, on the contrary she sees her new position as a great opportunity.
“We must operationally do some reorganization and some more focused and grassroots work, as well as recruiting. There’s a whole component to recruitment. I’d like to see a very diverse array of candidates, the very, very finest candidates in the state.”
Floyd lives in Spartanburg and is the owner of a marketing firm.
Floyd says one of her important tasks is making sure that the party creates the ground work that leads to a steady influx of youthful enthusiasm. “the Republican Party has great opportunities with the 18 to 29 year olds. We have a new third vice chairman who is young and energetic and our first vice chairman as well. They are both Y-R’s, Young Republicans and so our outreach efforts will be more focused and more concentrated going forward.”
Floyd lost her bid for the State Superintendent of Education post in 2006 by a mere 455 votes to JIm Rex. Floyd says she experienced a lot of personal growth during the highly contested race. “I think I learned a great deal about team building and resilience. I learned a lot about messaging. I learned just a tremendous amount through that whole experience. My takeaways would be much more introspective that what actually transpired.”
Floyd says she is not gearing up for a run for a statewide office in the foreseeable future. She envisions herself as a person who can help the State Republican party grow and expand to greater heights in South Carolina.