AP NEWS

Walker County Teenage Republicans have special guest and get surprise gift

May 3, 2019

On Thursday evening, May 2, 11 teens ranging in age from 13 to 19 gathered at Droop Scoops in Chickamauga for the third meeting of the Walker County Teenage Republicans.

One member brought up a picture of the American flag on his cell phone and held it high in the air and the group opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Fifteen-year-old Matthew Nave had been doing some volunteering with the Walker County Republican Party, manning phones and campaigning door to door, when he came up with the idea for a local teenage version of the party.

“I went to the leadership,” says Nave, “and presented the idea to them and they liked it. They were very supportive.”

Nave says the new Walker County group also got a lot of support from the Georgia State Teenage Republicans. “Jack Miller, the chair of the state group, provided us with a lot of information about how to get started,” says Nave.

On the agenda at Thursday’s meeting was the reading of the minutes by secretary Autumn Phillips and the treasurer’s report by William Burns. The group, reported the treasurer, had $100 in its account. That would change by the end of the meeting.

The group discussed ways to reach other teens and to grow its membership. “We had five people at our first meeting,” says Nave, “and six at our second. I was aiming for 20 members in our first year, but I think we might do better than that. We’ve already more than doubled our membership.”

The group was treated to two special speakers at their third meeting. The first was Nancy Burton, chair of the Walker County Republican Party. Burton encouraged the young Republicans to see themselves as the future, people who would eventually run for office. She told them that she and fellow-attendees sitting nearby, former WCRP chairs Doug Grammar and Mike Cameron, were the young people’s library, a place to turn for information and help.

Kensington business owner Tori Phillips attended and treated the group to ice cream and soda.

Finally, the keynote speaker walked through the door. Sen. Jeff Mullis apologized for being late. He said he’d been working and someone reminded him that he was supposed to be at the ice cream shop

Mullis shared with the teens how he got involved in politics and finally became a state senator. “When I decided to run for state senate, I figured it couldn’t be too much work because it was just part-time,” he said. “I was wrong.”

For around 30 minutes, Mullis told stories from his years in politics, took questions and discussed current legislation. The group was especially interested in the “heartbeat bill” that proposes to ban abortion, except under special circumstances, when a doctor can detect the heartbeat of an unborn child. Mullis said the bill will be signed into law soon and told the group that he always supports pro-life legislation.

Rounding out the evening, Mullis posed for pictures with the Walker County Teenage Republicans, then he sat down, took out his checkbook and nearly tripled their funds with a check for $250.

Nave said that he and Burns were also thinking about donating to the group’s account, and he urged other members to consider donating money they earned from doing chores.

The next meeting of the Walker County Teenage Republicans is on June 6, 5:30 p.m. at Droop Scoops in Chickamauga. Meetings are open to the public.