Loudermilk prepares for Republican convention
by Jason Lowrey
Aug 25, 2012 | 1281 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the Republican National Convention, and Hurricane Isaac, nears, State Senator Barry Loudermilk is preparing for his trip to Tampa as one of Georgia’s 84 delegates and alternates. Loudermilk is the only District 11 delegate from Bartow County, and while he is anticipating the convention and its events, he is keeping an eye on the weather like so many other delegates and organizers as Isaac moves toward the United States.

“And of course the weather’s going to make it more exciting. With that hurricane bearing down it’s hard telling what’s going to happen. But, yeah, I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a very busy, but exciting week,” Loudermilk said.

A party convention is more than the speeches, nominations, votes and confetti seen on television. Long before the cameras start rolling every night there are numerous delegate and caucus meetings in addition to educational sessions for party members and elected officials. Various local and national media jockey for interviews and scheduling which meetings, sessions and interviews a delegate can make becomes a large task.

“We’ve had so many requests to attend different ones that we’re looking at which ones will be most beneficial,” Loudermilk said.

One educational session Loudermilk said he would attend is Newt Gingrich’s “Newt University,” which is designed to train elected officials on how to solve problems such as healthcare. He also said he would be sitting down for a number of interviews, as he is one of the few elected officials acting as a delegate.

Anyone can apply to be a delegate, Loudermilk said. There were 75 applicants for the three delegate and three alternate positions from District 11. After a review and approval period, any applications were voted on at the Georgia Republican Convention. When Loudermilk’s application came up for a vote it was unanimously approved. He is the only delegate approved without a challenge.

“All of them were challenged mostly by Ron Paul supporters,” Loudermilk said. “Except for me. I was the only one that was unanimously elected. When they submitted my name, one of the head Ron Paul guys got up and said, ‘We will not challenge him, and we will support him going.’ So I was very honored to be the only one unanimously elected to go supported by all camps.”

Loudermilk said his record of following the Constitution, rather than the party line, is why the Libertarians supported his election.

He added that details on his exact convention schedule are still up in the air and will not be settled until Sunday or Monday. However, he plans to update the public through social media and press releases. The one thing he is sure of, though, is taking his search and rescue gear to Tampa in case Isaac makes landfall near the city.

“With my search and rescue training ... I plan on putting all that gear in my car with me going down there just in case we end up needing to do disaster recovery. I’ll volunteer to help folks,” he said.