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County GOP wants people to get involved

Republicans who want to work to keep the White House have a chance to get involved this weekend.

The Gwinnett Republican Party will hold mass meetings at five locations to elect precinct captains, who will serve through the next two years.

At the meetings, people will also choose delegates and alternates to attend the county convention in March.

Gwinnett provided President George Bush with one of the largest margins of victory in the country in 2004, but Democrats took over Congress with the 2006 elections. Georgia may play an even greater role in the 2008 campaign, as legislators are debating moving the presidential primary from March 4 to Feb. 5.

"We do not want Georgia left out of the process," House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, R-St. Simons, said of the proposed primary date.

Registration begins at 9:15 a.m. Saturday at Central Gwinnett High School, the Rivershyre community club house, Duluth Highway School, Churchill Commons subdivision club house and Lilburn City Hall. Doors will close at 10 a.m.

Gwinnett Republican Party Chairman Gregory Howard said the event is open to "all Gwinnett County residents who are legally registered to vote and believe in the principles of the Republican Party."

To find out which district event to attend and for more information, go to www.gwinnettgop.org.

Gwinnett will also host the GOP's state convention in May.

Kemp to run again for Senate

While a special election hasn't been set to replace U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, there is already a front-runner in the race to replace a state senator seeking Norwood's place in Congress.

State Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R-Comer, has said he will resign in order to run for congress, but the move has not become official.

Meanwhile, former state Sen. Brian Kemp announced he would run for Hudgens seat.

Kemp, a Republican from Athens who served two terms in the state Senate, ran for agriculture commissioner in 2006. Recent redistricting placed him in Hudgens' District 47, which includes Barrow County.

"In my past service in the State Senate, I have represented parts of Jackson, Barrow, Madison, Oglethorpe and Clarke counties," Kemp said. "I look forward to serving the people of these great communities once again in the state Senate."

When Kemp announced his intentions earlier this week, he was already able to announce endorsements from every Republican in the state Senate, including Hudgens and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

"It's an honor to have such strong support from my friends in the General Assembly," he said. "It's a statement of their confidence in my proven leadership."

Norwood, 65, died last week after a battle with cancer and lung disease.

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.