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County GOP to elect new chairman Saturday

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A few new faces are running for chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party, including Mary-Kate Brown, Toni Eaton and Omar L. Hamada.

The new chairman and other positions will be decided at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, during the party’s reorganization and election at the Fifty Forward Martin Center in Brentwood.

Omar and Eaton announced their candidacy for chairman earlier this year, while Brown joined the two as a candidate this spring.

Brown, a 15-year resident of Williamson County, has worked on various Republican campaigns in Williamson County over the past 12 years and has also worked on campaigns at the regional and national level. 

Brown has served on the campaigns of Mitt Romney, Reps. Glen Casada, Sam Whitson and the late Charles Sargent as well as Franklin Mayor Ken Moore. 

She also served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008 and 2012 and was selected to serve as a member of the Republican National Convention’s Rules Committee in 2012.

She is a former member of the Williamson County GOP Chairman’s Circle, a board member for Williamson Medical Center Foundation, former development director for Columbia State Community College’s Williamson County campus and former board member of Franklin Noon Rotary.

“My vision is to have a party that elects Republicans to every office for which we compete, that welcomes all Republicans to be involved in our cause and fosters an environment where people can share ideas openly and be respected,” Brown said. “We will do this by recruiting good candidates, encouraging healthy competition and promoting open and frequent communications with our membership, the community, and all elected officials in Williamson County.”

Brown stated a few challenges she said she believes the party currently faces. 

“The main challenge we face is maintaining a positive and healthy local party,” she said. “Our county has grown tremendously over the past 10 years and continued growth is expected with many new businesses and their employees locating here. This brings with it more political diversity than we have seen in the past. So it becomes more important that we, as Republicans, are firm in our beliefs but effective in inviting others to join our cause.”

Brown added that her goal, if elected, would be to build strong candidates for the 2020 election and grow the party by at least 20 percent.

She faces Hamada, a medical doctor who has a master’s degree in business administration. He also is a veteran who served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Special Forces (ABN, the Green Berets) and is a recipient of the Bronze Star.

Hamada lives in Franklin with three of his four children, the fourth living in London, England. 

Hamada said his interest in the position “stems from his desire to help unify the party, continue the great work that outgoing chair Debbie Deaver has accomplished, advance conservative values and principles, support local elected Republicans and their agendas, and provide the infrastructure and funding needed to ensure they have the resources to win re-election.”

Eaton, a 41-year resident of Williamson County, previously worked to help Gov. Bill Lee get elected. Eaton is an active member of the Williamson County Republican Career Women, Republican Women of Williamson County, a board member for the TN Republican Minority Coalition, regent member of Tennessee Federation Republican Women, member of TN Conservative Grass Roots Organization and a member of the Williamson County Chairman’s Circle.

“When elected, I will unite the party and bring monthly meetings to five areas of Williamson County to get more conservative people involved and raise voter excitement,” Eaton said. “I repeatedly hear how areas of our county do not and have not felt represented, and my goal is to change that.” 

She has been active in the party, putting together special events and fundraising. 

“We need to help the elected officials who are doing a great job stay in office and help find candidates that can do a great job as candidates in areas where the people are not being represented well,” Eaton said. “The Williamson County party needs a leader that will work toward increasing local voter turnout, getting more people excited about the party and getting more people active in local policies.”

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