GOP gives former Dems roles

Published 12:03 am Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shown are William Blocker, Tammy Lee, Eddie Rowell and Robert Williamson, newly elected Republican party officers. Courtesy photo

A county judge who was elected as a Democrat in November but who switched parties Monday night, and a man who sought election as an Independent in 2010 were among the four people chosen by the local Republican Executive Committee Thursday to represent Covington County on the State Executive Committee.

The local Republican Executive Committee met Thursday in Andalusia to elect officers for the upcoming four-year term and make appointments to the state committee, according to a press release issued Friday.

William Blocker was re-elected as chairman of the local committee. Florala Mayor Robert Williamson was named vice chairman; Tammy Lee was elected secretary; and Eddie Rowell was named treasurer.

The group also filled its new seats on the state committee. Previously, local Republicans have had four seats on the state committee. Following November’s general election, when local GOP candidates won the district attorney and state representative races, Covington County earned a fifth seat on the state committee, based on State Executive Committee By-Laws.

Monday night, when nine public officials elected as Democrats in Covington County switched to the Republican party, the local party earned two more seats, for a total of seven.

Circuit Judge Lex Short, District Judge Trippy McGuire, Sheriff Dennis Meeks, Commissioner Bragg Carter, Coroner Norman Hobson, and Covington County Board of Education members Lynda Powell, Jeff Bailey, Jimmy Rodgers and John Clark all changed parties this week after signing a declaration stating they would “endorse and will actively support the principles of the Republican Party, including (but not all inclusive) pro-life, pro-family, pro-free enterprise strong defense and less intrusive government.”

As local party chairman, Blocker already was a member of the state committee, as were Benny Jo Sasser and Greg White. Thursday, the local executive committee elected Mike Jones Jr., Don Cotton, Trippy McGuire and Robert Williamson to the state committee. Cotton ran for the state House of Representatives as an Independent in 2010, while McGuire, who is Covington County’s district judge, ran unopposed as a Democrat last year.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, members of the Covington County Executive Committee were Blocker, Williamson, Sasser, Jan White, Greg White, Jerry Andrews, John Stewart, Ron Terry, Ben Bowden, Eddie Rowell, Virginia Merritt and Rex Jones.

Added to the local executive committee Thursday were Walt Merrell, Glen Vaughn, Mark Christensen, Mike Jones, Julian Foshee, Anne Christensen, Carl Turman, Bill Godwin, Don Cotton, Ricky Jones, Debbie Page, Dennis Meeks, Trippy McGuire, and Tammy Lee.