A combination of factors is leading Terry Lathan, Chairman of the Mobile County Republican Party, to pursue a higher position at the top of the state GOP, which will elect a new chairman in February.
Less than a week after Bill Armistead, the current chairman, announced he wouldn’t be seeking a third term in the position, Lathan submitted her name for consideration and will face former Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin in a Feb. 21 race for the state party’s senior leadership role.
After four years in charge of one of states largest Republican organizations and more than 20 years of involvement at the state level, Lathan said the time feels right to pursue a stronger role in the party she “loves” and capitalize on the national and local success the GOP saw during November’s midterm elections.
“One of the questions we have to ask ourselves is, ‘if we’re strong politically from the top down, how far can we go?’” Lathan said. “We made big headways in many of the counties in Alabama during this last election, but now we need to go back into the counties and find any places where we could improve. We can start by making sure we continue recruiting good candidates, because that’s real important for the party.”
Lathan, who proclaimed herself as “tech savvy,” said the Republican party is starting to better utilize technology in the political arena — a trend she wants ensure continues.
“We’re already using technology, but If someone is interested in the party, I think going to them is lot more important than hoping they’ll come to you,” Lathan said. “Disseminating more information to voters is important because I don’t think assuming they know everything is smart. We need to focus on getting our message out to them as much as possible without inundating them. It takes a good balance.”
Though she has more than 15,000 volunteer hours logged with the state party, Lathan said her last four years as Mobile County’s GOP chair have given her a real “hands-on experience” with the “nuts and bolts” of the party.
“I feel like I’ve got a pretty strong record and a story to tell,” she said. “There’s no personal hidden agenda. I just want to continue the growth of the party and make sure our officials are held accountable for their actions, which they already seem to be doing well.”