Political Notebook: Sen. Balfour visits soliders in Miss.

Earlier this month, Sen. Don Balfour visited the Georgia National Guard, as they trained for deployment to Afghanistan.

Balfour, R-Snellville, watched training exercises the 48th Infantry Brigade were undergoing at Camp Shelby in Mississippi.

"I am in awe of the bravery and courage these men and women show every day," Balfour said. "They are traveling thousands of miles away to protect our friends, family and freedom. I can't say enough to show my gratitude."

Balfour, whose son is in the military, ate "Meals Ready to Eat," self-contained meals used by soldiers in the field. A typical MRE contains an entree, side dish, crackers, dessert and instant coffee or tea.

He also interacted with the soldiers.

"Visiting Camp Shelby has been an amazing experience for me," Balfour said. "I have seen firsthand the strength and tenacity our soldiers have."

Oxendine to speak at Gwinnett GOP breakfast

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine will be the featured speaker at the Gwinnett Republican Party breakfast on Saturday. The Gwinnett GOP meets at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant at 3505 Mall Blvd. in Duluth. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the meeting begins at 8:30.

Oxendine is running for the Republican Party's nomination for governor in 2010. He made news on Tuesday when he endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry's efforts to limit the federal government by asserting state sovereignty.

"If governor, I would support legislation which puts Georgia on record as affirming our sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution," Oxendine said.

Conway to serve as Johnson's Chairman of Law Enforcement

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway will serve as Chairman of Law Enforcement for Sen. Eric Johnson, a Republican candidate for governor.

Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence and Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison will serve as co-chairs.

"These men have the trust of their communities and I appreciate the trust they placed in me," Johnson said. "As governor, I will be committed to partnering with our local law enforcement officers to do all we can to keep Georgia families safe."

Local man named to state board

Alex Gregory, a Duluth resident, was named to the State Workforce Investment Board.

The president and chief executive officer of YKK Corporation of America, Gregory, 60, was recently named to the corporation's board of directors in Japan, becoming the first non-Japanese director.

He is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's board of directors, The Carter Center's board of councilors, Japan-America Society of Georgia, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, GCSU Foundation board of trustees and The Georgian Club's board of directors, according to information sent by the governor's office.

Gregory and his wife, Glenda, have two children and two grandchildren.

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.