The state Republican Party has a new chairman. After two ballots Saturday, Newberry County party head Chad Connelly got a majority of delegate votes. He ran against two attorneys, Stephen Brown of Greenville and Bill Connor of Orangeburg. Connor most recently lost a tight race to Ken Ard for the party nomination for lieutenant governor.
Congressman Mick Mulvaney credits Connelly’s work at the county levels with helping him unseat longtime 5th District Congressman, Democrat John Spratt. Today, a Greenwood GOP delegate, who gave her name as Belva, seconded that, saying, “I see him a lot. He has a great networking system and that’s what we need.”
T he kinetic Connelly, a professional motivational speaker, says he is ready to get started on putting together a presidential primary, fielding a potential 7th congressional district and taking on his new adversary, outspoken state Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian.
“Dick Harpootlian just met his worst nightmare,” growled Connelly.
New 1st District Congressman Tim Scott, a young star in the GOP, says it is that energy that the state party needs now:
We need to make sure that we continue to have high levels of enthusiasm. We have to attract those young folks who are understanding that this nation is in jeopardy. We can do that but we need to have an energetic message with enthusiasm as a part of the core construct of who we are.
Outgoing Karen Floyd has left him with a party in power in the SC House, Senate and governor’s office–as well as a majority in the congressional delegation. She also hands over a battle with Florida over who will end up with the first-in-the-South GOP presidential primary.
“If we have to trick-or-treat, we’ll have the first-in-the-South primary,” Connelly says, taking on Karen Floyd’s promise that even if the SCGOP has to move the primary forward to October, Florida will not take that status away from South Carolina.