Q. What grade would you give Ms. Everhart on her work as Georgia GOP chair?
A. I'm not running against Sue Everhart. She is a friend of mine. She is a good woman. I'm very thankful to her service to the Republican Party. I do believe though that the results of Nov. 2 were no one person's doing. It was a ground team like we have never seen before in Republican politics in Georgia.
Q. What led you to run for this position?
A. Well, during the fall of this campaign as we were campaigning hard, working hard, those of you all that have ever worked on a political campaign know that it is fueled by coffee. Mass quantities of it. It's a lot of hard work. And I started to identify things that I saw within the state party working with the state party on the Deal for Governor team and other teams in the general election that I said, 'You know what? If we did it this way, what if we leveraged technology in our door-to-door efforts? What if we leveraged technology better in our phone banking, in office, at home?' Chairman Everhart put me on the technology committee for the state party and we made some advances, but I think there's so much more that we could do, so it was during the fall and especially in my role on the finance committee for Deal for Governor, helping that campaign, helping the Sam Olens for Attorney General campaign raise money, and there's a lot of networking opportunities within the financial community, the donor community for Republican politics, and I just started to notice what if we did it this way?
Q. Is Gov. Deal openly supporting your candidacy?
A. Yes sir, he is. He has endorsed me. And he told me when we discussed this that he is endorsing me because he knows my hard work, he knows my work ethic and he also knows my creative ideas.
Q. How did you come to know Gov. Deal?
A. In December of '09 I was here in Cobb County and active in Republican politics and the Handel for Governor team was talking with me, and I liked them and thought they had a lot of momentum and liked both Mr. and Mrs. Handel and at the end of '09 that campaign took a stark trip into calling out members of the General Assembly and people that work at the Capitol. Now I'm a former intern down at the state Capitol and it was a great experience for me and I have many friends that served in the General Assembly. They work hard. They don't do it for the fame. They sure don't do it for the fortune, but they do it because they want a better Georgia, and they want to be able to serve their constituents. When that campaign decided to really sort of center identity and gender politics as a cornerstone of their campaign I met with Mrs. Handel ... and told her that in my opinion, for what it's worth, this is just little me, but I'd hate to see us go down this road. Well, the campaign continued in that direction and a mutual friend of mine and Nathan Deal's, a Cobb County attorney named John Sours, said 'I'd like for you to meet Nathan Deal, and I'd like for you to spend some time and just talk with him about his campaign.' So I did. ... This is all John Sours' fault. (laughs)
Q. What would you bring to the role of state GOP chair?
A. I think I bring a fresh perspective to it. I'm a former chief marketing officer and technology executive. I started a software company out of my home several years ago in Cobb County. .... We grew that business over the period of nine years to be a successful business that created jobs and did a lot for our industry. Some of our clients like Delta Airlines and Wal-Mart and Bank of America we worked very closely with them. And it was a very rewarding experience. We were blessed enough to be able to sell it in 2006 so since then I've been volunteering full time. ... I really believe that it's just time for a fresh perspective for new things to happen with the Georgia Republican Party, with technology and leveraging my technology background, with my political background and all the campaigns that I volunteered in, and also it's a great growth time where we can go across the state, work at the county level, work at the district level, to be able to grow out the party.
Q. As a Kennesaw State University graduate, is the faculty as liberal as we've been told?
A. Absolutely. Absolutely they are in the political science department. .... I will say that I was asked to donate money to the university a few years ago and I asked them why they used the word 'progressive' in their boilerplate of their press releases, you know, 'Kennesaw State University is a progressive institution,' because that word has so many meanings. It has a very socially liberal bend to it. I never did get an answer and they never did get a check. It was surprising to me that here in Cobb County why they would they want to position themselves in that way.
Q. Do you think KSU President Dr. Dan Papp hurt the fundraising efforts of his school by the way he handled the matter of KSU student and illegal immigrant Jessica Colotl?
A. I think it could have been handled better. It could have been handled better.