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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: LeVell takes helm of Republican party in Gwinnett

Gwinnett GOP's new chairman is Bruce LeVell.

The Diamond Warehouse owner bested Chet Hale and Rich Carithers in a special vote Thursday.

He replaces Chuck Efstration, an assistant district attorney who became the party's youngest leader before resigning to run for Congress.

"I am honored that my fellow Republicans trusted me to lead them as we enter the 2010 elections," said LeVell, who has been active in the party for years and sought the party's nomination for the District 1 commission seat in 2008. "This year our party will need to step it up and show the people of Gwinnett and the state of Georgia why continued Republican leadership is needed to keep us on the right course. We will mobilize everyone who believes in limited government, lower taxes and the free enterprise system to help us as we make phone calls, knock on doors and e-mail our friends about our GOP candidates."

LeVell said he hoped to reunite the Republican "family" in Gwinnett and mobilize grassroots support in every voting precinct. He said he has a plan to engage high school and college students in the party, too.

In a nominating speech, Scott Haggard described Bruce as "a man of integrity and vision."

"Bruce has already demonstrated his support for the community in other ways, and now his fellow Republicans will get to see how much energy and enthusiasm he brings to our party efforts."

Conway endorses Royal

Sheriff Butch Conway has cast his support in another political race this season.

The popular sheriff endorsed House District 102 candidate Keith Royal.

I know Keith, and I know we can trust him to be a strong supporter of law enforcement and public safety in the state House," he said. "Keith is the new kind of conservative leader we need in the state House to turn things around."

Royal is a lawyer who worked in the past as an assistant attorney general.

"I am thrilled and honored to have the endorsement of Sheriff Conway," he said. "Sheriff Conway has done a great job in helping keep our families safe, particularly in his efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants and crime in Gwinnett. I look forward to working with him from the state House to keep our families safe and to reform state government to lower spending, cut taxes and attract new jobs."

Upcoming events

Another District 2 commission forum is slated for Wednesday.

Republicans Lynette Howard, Jose Perez and Keith Shewbert, along with Democrat Robert Lee Byars, are expected to participate in the Lilburn Business Association event.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. at Lilburn City Hall, located at 76 Main St.

On the same day, gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine is expected to address the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon at the 1818 Club.

On Saturday, FreedomWorks is hosting a 5:30 p.m. forum for District 7 congressional candidates followed by a 7:15 p.m. gubernatorial debate.

The public is invited to the event at the Gwinnett Center. For more information, call Julianne Thompson at 404-798-4663 or e-mail georgiateapartypatriots@gmail.com.

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.