Leadership of the Blount County Republican Women changed hands Monday, Nov. 27 during a luncheon at the Blount County Courthouse.
Outgoing president Grayce Cabage passed the gavel to new president Mary Gentry during the mid-day ceremony. The Blount County legislative delegation also presented Cabage and volunteer Bobbie French with resolutions praising their service.
Kathy Shields inducted the new officers. "As officers, you must realize the high honor this organization has bestowed upon you," she said.
Cabage and others talked about the recent elections and their hopes for the future.
"I was pleased with Tennessee in our election results, but saddened by the U.S. (elections)," she said. "Hopefully well do better in two years."
State Sen. Raymond Finney, State Rep. Doug Overbey and State Rep. Joe McCord were present to honor Cabage for her work.
"You can never say Thank you enough," Overbey said of Cabage.
McCord said he remembered when he first ran for office and realized there were many in the Republican womens organization working for him when he hadnt even asked for their help. "I never had to ask you," he said. "Thank you so much for everything youve done."
Finney said when he ran for office two years ago, many of those in the room supported his opponent, then incumbent State Sen. Bill Clabough. After the primary election was over, the Republican woman rallied behind Finney and the retired doctor said he appreciated that. "Were so thankful for all youve done for us," he said.
According to Finney, Republicans will regain the U.S. House and Senate, but not by mobilizing the national or state parties. "It will be county by county, and the Blount County Republican party will be a major factor," he said.
Blount County Republican chairman Dave Bennett praised Cabage and French for their work on behalf of the party. "I used to say the Blount County Republican Women were the backbone (of the party). Theyre not only the backbone, theyre the heart, lungs and soul," he said. "Grayce, thank you for all youve done."
"Its nice to be able to meet with friends," Cabage said. "I thank you very much. I really appreciate each and every one of you."
New officers are president Mary Gentry; first vice president Donna
Hatcher, second vice president Susan Mills; secretary
Fonda Angel; and treasurer Judy Toole.