The annual banquet of the Union County Chamber of Commerce is a celebration of accomplishments and a look toward the future. It’s also a fundraiser for the group that promotes tourism as it recruits and supports local businesses.
Randy Boyd brought star power as the guest speaker. He recently resigned as commissioner of the state’s Economic and Community Development Department.
This week I am in Tbilisi, Georgia, as an election observer for their parliamentary elections. The trip is sponsored by the International Republican Institute, a private, nonprofit group. IRI promotes democratic procedures, fair elections and participatory democracy as does its counterpart, which is the National Democratic Institute. Neither is part of the partisan RNC or DNC.
Georgia was part of the former Soviet Union and is where Joseph Stalin was born. It has been an independent nation for 25 years with varying degrees of success. I was present four years ago in Georgia, also as an election observer for IRI, when parliamentary elections were held and resulted in the ruling party being swept out of office.
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is sounding a bit frantic. While he’s in Washington serving in a Congress with all-time low ratings, the energetic Weston Wamp is working throughout the 3rd Congressional District to meet people and solicit support.
Aug. 7 is do-or-die for young Wamp. There is little political future for the guy who loses twice. The son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp finished third two years ago, when Fleischmann eked out a win with less than 50 percent of the vote. The other candidate was Scottie Mayfield who is not running this time.