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Maryland lieutenant governor to speak at black Republican event

Just a few weeks after Melvin Everson became the first black Republican to win a contested race in Georgia, Gwinnettians will be introduced to a man who's broken an even higher barrier. In Maryland, a black Republican has risen to the state's second in command. That man, Michael Steele, will speak at a reception of Georgia Black Republicans this weekend. The event will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Marriott Gwinnett Place in Duluth. "The Cobb County and Gwinnett County chapters of the Georgia Black Republican Council hope to rally its troops to push forward on the growing national trend of some African-American voters to not always give Democratic candidates their votes blindly," said Gwinnett's council Chairman Marvin Harris, an Annapolis native now living in Snellville. "Georgia and Maryland are major contributors to this trend because of metropolitan cities like Atlanta and Annapolis, where black middle class suburbanites' priorities are more focused on business, education and safe communities rather than the traditional welfare, civil rights and government programs of the Democratic party," he said. Steele was elected in 2003, becoming the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland. He is currently the highest ranking black Republican in the nation. Immigration forum Speaking of Everson, he'll be a panelist tonight in an immigration forum hosted by the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Marguerite D'Youville Catholic Church on Gloster Road in Lawrenceville. Everson, of Snellville, talked about immigration as one of his top campaign platforms during the House District 106 special election. He'll be joined on the panel by Rep. David Casas, R-Lilburn, a Cuban-American, Rep. Brian Thomas, D-Lilburn, and Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Norcross. Because the town hall meeting is expected to focus on morality as well as policy, panelists will include religious leaders from Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Lutheran and Muslim congregations. Linder town hall Interested in an update on the happenings in Washington? Tune in this morning to WCHK 1290 AM. Congressman John Linder, R-Duluth, will hold a radio town hall on the Canton station from 8 to 9 a.m. today. The radio event has been scheduled to provide a legislative update, as well as listen to constituent concerns. Constituents interested in asking Congressman Linder a question may call the radio station at (770) 479-2101. Due to limited telephone lines at the station, callers may incur difficulties getting through. Any unanswered questions may be also be directed to Linder by filling out a web form on his "Online Office" at linder.house.gov/contact-john. Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.