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Giuliani a favorite with local GOP
Straw 2
Attendees to the Bryan County Republican Party's gathering Monday got the chance to vote for many different candidates in their straw poll. - photo by Luke Hearn

Bryan County Republican Party members got a jump-start on the 2008 presidential election at their winter meeting Monday.

The group met at the Fort McAllister Marina, where members got the chance to participate in the group’s straw poll, casting their "votes" as to whom they thought should be the next president.

In the end it was Giuliani who claimed the most "votes" at the gathering winning 48 percent of those cast. John McCain came in second place.

Member Alexandra Tambarrok headed up the poll and said she thought the winner of the straw poll could be a indication of which candidate could win the Republican Presidential Nomination.

"We passed out two tickets to everyone to pick their first and second choices," she said. "I think it will be a good indication of who the nominee could be."

Tambarrok said she thought Giuliani was the best choice because he appeals to a larger base of people.

Names of candidates that have already declared a run and those who haven’t were displayed during the straw poll.

Among the names were former Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.

Johnny Murphy, the group’s chairman, said the event is something the group will have regularly.

"We’re just trying to have regular meetings for members of the Republican Party so everyone can get together and socialize," Murphy said. "And our annual convention is Saturday, so hopefully this will remind people to come."

Local Republican politicians were present at the event and included Bryan County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis and Bryan County Board of Education Chairman Eddie Warren.

Speaking to the attendees, Murphy said it was important the group work together to keep Republicans in office from the local level to the White House.

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