Georgia Teen Republicans

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The Georgia Teen Republicans (GATRS) is one of two major partisan youth organizations in the U.S. state of Georgia. Founded in 1978 as the Georgia Teenage Republicans and referred to as the TARs, the organization came under the direct sponsorship of the Georgia Republican Party in 1991. The organization changed its name to the Georgia Teen Republicans in 2003 and is now known as the GATRs. GATRs assist the Republican Party and are recognized as an affiliate organization but are no longer directly sponsored.


The Georgia Teenage Republicans organization was founded in 1978 at the same time as the first Teenage Republican chapters in the state. Members of these clubs were referred to as the "TARS."[1] The TARS helped with Ronald Reagan's campaign for President of the United States in 1980. Newt Gingrich was an early supporter of the organization and many of the state leaders over the next decade came from his congressional district.[2]

In 1991, the Georgia Teenage Republicans came under the direct sponsorship of the Georgia Republican Party, with then-Executive Director David Shafer serving as the State Adult Advisor.[2] The organization expanded throughout the state and was particularly active in the 1994 elections with much enthusiasm for Gingrich's Contract with America. In the late 1990s, as the Republican advance seemed to slow, the TARS ceased activity.

The organization was relaunched in 2003 after teenaged volunteers made over 20,000 calls for Sonny Perdue's successful 2002 gubernatorial campaign. The relaunched group dropped the word "age" from the name, becoming known as the Georgia Teen Republicans or GATRS, and losing the acronym TARS. However, Georgia Teen Republicans considers itself a continuation of the earlier organization.[3][4][5]


GATRS is governed by an Executive Board and a State Committee. The Executive Board is composed of the seven elected officers and non-voting director positions. The State Committee is composed of the Executive Board and the chapter chairs who choose to opt in. The Executive Board meets on a monthly basis, while the State Committee meets quarterly.


GATRS actively volunteers for the Georgia Republican Party at events across the state. The organization also strives to help local chapters get connected with Republican campaigns in their areas so that they can contribute to Republican victories on election day.[6] GATRS long-term goals are to focus on developing leadership and campaign seminars for teens who want to learn more about the political system.

State Convention[edit]

The organization annually hosts a State Convention. Originally, the state conventions were held in October, starting in 2003. By 2006, the typical convention month had shifted to June. Since 2009, the convention has been held in the State Capitol Building, either in the House or Senate Chamber.[7]

  • October 16, 2004: GAGOP Victory Center, Roswell, GA
  • October 22, 2005: Roswell City Hall, Roswell, GA [8]
  • June 17, 2006: Roswell City Park, Roswell, GA[9]
  • May 19, 2007: Gwinnett Center, Duluth, GA[10]
  • June 14, 2008: Griffin First Assembly of God, Griffin, GA[2]
  • June 6, 2009: Georgia Capitol Building, House Chamber, Atlanta, GA[2]
  • May 1, 2010: Georgia Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Atlanta, GA[2]
  • June 4, 2011: Georgia Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Atlanta, GA[11]
  • June 2, 2012: Georgia Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Atlanta, GA[12]
  • June 1, 2013: Georgia Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Atlanta, GA[13]
  • June 7, 2014: Georgia Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Atlanta, GA[14]


External links[edit]