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County Republicans Aren't Considering Primary

Giles County Republicans do not plan to seek a county primary for their candidates in the next election.

The idea has been under discussion by the county party, and party chairman Chris Morris said the local party would not ask the county election commission to hold a primary this year.

He made the announcement at the July meeting of the local party.

Sheila Butt, former state representative from Columbia, had talked to members of the county Republican party a few months ago about replacing the primary with a nominating convention or a caucus, which she said would allow the party to focus more on supporting candidates.

“We are going to do away with the Republican Primary, we are going to a Republican convention,” Morris said.

Giles County Democrats have not held a primary in recent years.

One criticism of holding a primary is the cost, which is borne by the county election commission. Some costs are reimbursed by the state.

If a local political party asks the county to hold a primary, the county must grant the request.

Requests to the county election commission to hold primaries in 2022 need to be made by Aug. 23, according to the Tennessee Election Commission. Nov. 9 is the deadline to withdraw a request for a primary.

Morris also urged local Republicans to work towards reducing the number of county commissioners in Giles from 21.

Neighboring Limestone County, Ala., which has a much larger population, has fewer county commissioners, he said.

At the meeting, which filled the meeting room area at Richland Trace Market, Lt. Col Edward Kennedy, retired, talked about the importance of black soldiers, who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.

Kennedy retired from the Redstone Arsenal, a U.S. Army installation in Huntsville, Ala.

Correspondence and pictures were presented which Indicated Black soldiers and their descendants were invited to and attended reunions of forces on both sides following the Civil War.

Some states also granted Black soldiers veterans benefits after the war, further evidence of their service, Kennedy said,

One reason Blacks qualified for benefits was they were no longer slaves or had otherwise gained their freedom. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War freed the slaves.

Other material said to reflect Kennedy’s beliefs was an article allegedly critical of the political left for attacking great works of Western Civilization and another criticizing complacency of Republicans in east Tennessee.

Republicans, he said, often assumed their party and candidates would win elections, even if work to secure wins was not done, he said.

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