It’s an exciting time for political revival in Rabun County.
The focal point is the re-organization of the Rabun County League of Women Voters.
Former Co-Chair Robinette Kennedy, who joins League organizer Patricia Howell, talked about the function of the LWV at the group’s first meeting on February 22.
“The origins of the League of Women Voters goes back to the days of the women’s Suffrage Movement when men and women were working for the right of women to vote. The LWV is a nonpartisan group that seeks to educate voters in Rabun County about the issues. We hosted public forums and debates during elections, posted information on each candidate on our website, what each one stood for and what they committed to do in the county. The LWV’s members were dedicated to improve relations between voters and local government. We attended meetings of city, county and authorities to shine a light on our elected officials and are excited to take that role on again. Our greatest impact was made at the county level. Our group disbanded in 2008 or 2009.” Kennedy said.
Rabun County men and women are encouraged to join and to get involved in local government by attending meetings and knowing what candidates stand for come election time. Dues are minimal and go to help maintain the group’s website and to the state level for LWV activities.
The second meeting of the nonpartisan group Rabun County League of Women Voters will be held Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 PM at St. James Episcopal Church, 299 Rickman Road, Clayton
The political scene in Rabun County is about to get interesting.
The national Democrat party has launched an aggressive movement to return Georgia to a blue state. Included in that plan is strategy to re-energize the long dormant Rabun County Democrat base. With around 50 people in attendance at a February 13 meeting at city hall local Democrats and progressives turned out to vote in a new democratic committee with Mary Smith named as Chairwoman. Due to significant demographic changes in Georgia that favor an increase in democrat voters, the party has its eye on an open governor’s race in 2018 with the expectation of attracting the best of the state’s democrat leaders to run for Governor Deal’s seat.
With The New York Times reporting 6,287 votes for Trump (79%) and 1,444 votes for Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, Rabun County is clearly Republican territory. Longtime Georgia state Republican and Rabun County GOP member Ed Henderson stated that District 8 led by recently elected State Representative Matt Gurtler is the “most Republican district in Georgia” with an 83% voter turnout in Rabun County for the presidential race behind Glascock and Union counties, both representing an 88% voter turnout. The Rabun County GA Republicans are headed up by Chairwoman Carolee Williams.
With both Democrat and Republican parties, as well as scattered Progressive groups gathering growing followers, Henderson said he’s pleased with it all. “There are more teens, women, democrats and independent party supporters involved than ever before. People respond to different issues. The League of Women Voters can fill a void by bringing more women into politics and government. Their ability to get people more involved in meetings and public forums is welcome. I think its all good,” Henderson concluded.
Cherie Faircloth is the executive editor of Rabun County On the Record RCOntheRecord.com. She is also a freelance writer producing content in Florida and Georgia.