Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 357-1673
Glen O'Connell (843) 240-4995
Paul Hogan (843) 240-4810

GEORGETOWN- Georgetown County Republicans unanimously elected former County Councilman Tom Swatzel as party chairman at their convention on Monday, and for the first time ever adopted a county party platform.

A Murrells Inlet resident, Swatzel served from 1995 through 2002 on the Georgetown County Council and was the first Republican elected to council since Reconstruction. "I am honored to be selected as chairman and will work hard to build on the party's successes. I will focus on better organization at the grassroots level and candidate recruitment," he said.

Swatzel is currently chairman of the South Carolinians for Responsible Government, a statewide grassroots organization that is leading efforts to pass school choice legislation. He is also a board member of the Coalition Against Unlimited Spending, a business and taxpayer group that is seeking to impose additional property tax caps on local governments, the Georgetown County Visitor's Bureau and Murrells Inlet 2007, a community revitalization group.

The convention also unanimously adopted the state Republican Party platform as its own platform. "The Georgetown County Republican Party recognizes the importance of establishing a platform of conservative foundational principles for which its officers, members, candidates and elective officeholders stand for. We are for lower taxes, limited government, real education reform, a strong national defense, and conservative positions on social issues, among others, and want to eliminate that bad four letter acronym R.I.N.O. which means "Republicans in Name Only"," Swatzel said.

Other party officers elected by the convention were R.L. Port, Vice-Chairman; Charles Smith, Secretary; Howard Ward, Treasurer; and former County Councilman David Hood, State Executive Committeeman.