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Politics: GOP picks Jim Jerow for chairman

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Jim Jerow, former president of the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club, is the best pick to become the Georgetown County GOP’s new chairman, according to a nominating committee.

Jerow, 77, of Heritage Plantation, is one of only two new additions on a roster the committee submitted this week to the current chairman, Tom Swatzel, who opted not to run for re-election.

Glen O’Connell, a former Georgetown County Council member, former county party chairman and former state party treasurer, was selected to replace Jill Kelso as state committeeman.

The committee recommended R.L. Port return as vice chairman, Ruthann Howard as secretary and Howard Ward as treasurer.

Nominations will officially be made at the county party convention on April 9 in Georgetown and, while the floor will be opened for other nominations, Swatzel said the committee’s picks were voted in without opposition at the last two conventions.

“I think it’s a good slate of party officers. The committee has certainly done a good job for the party of deliberating on candidates,” he said.

Jerow was Swatzel’s first choice of successor after Jerow resigned from as president of the Republican club shortly after the November elections. But Jerow was initially reluctant to commit to another leadership position.

“I told the party all along that I was strongly considering it,” Jerow said. But it wasn’t until about three weeks ago that he agreed to take the job.

“I looked at 2012 and what’s coming up, and I felt I needed to stay through the process and help in any way I can to get our Republican leadership elected,” he said.

It wasn’t much of a sacrifice, he added. He and his wife, Joyce, have enjoyed their work with the party through the club, as well as working with the people his job put them in contact with.

Though the title of president belonged to Jim, Joyce was always hard at work alongside him and that won’t change in this new role if he is elected.

“We have really enjoyed helping the Republican candidates, too, as they come through to meet and talk with the voters,” he said. “We want to try to get the best quality people elected, and we look forward to serving the Republicans of Georgetown County.”

Jerow will limit himself to one term and said his primary goal will be uniting the party.

“We all need to pull together — those who call themselves Tea Partiers and independents, and those who want to see change at a national level,” he said. “Lets all work together to bring unity into the process.”

Swatzel chose not to run for re-election because he set a two-term limit for himself when he first sought the chairmanship in 2007. Under his leadership, the party increased membership and funding, and got a Republican back into state House District 108. Democrat Vida Miller held the seat for 14 years before Kevin Ryan was elected last year.

“Following in the footsteps of Tom Swatzel is not going to be easy,” Jerow said. “He has been a great leader for four years and he has done so much for the party.”

Georgetown County Republicans who didn’t attend a precinct reorganization meeting are invited to a make-up reorganization meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Georgetown Library.

Call call 527-3209 for information.

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