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Georgia GOP set for Trump's arrival, debate new rules

The former president visits the Peach State amid several legal battles

ATLANTA — The fun and the frenzy of the Georgia GOP convention pits Republican candidates against each other before any votes are cast. The goal of the convention is to elect new leadership, including a new chair. Former President Donald Trump, who was recently indicted on charges tied to his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Florida estate, will speak Saturday at the convention in Columbus.

The former president has won in Georgia before. However, Allen English, president of the Atlanta Young Republicans, said the one-term president's chances in 2024 could take a hit because of the latest indictment.

"It's who can win, not who do you like the most," English said. "Not who says everything you say, it's who can win the most. This throws a stick in everything for sure. It changes the dynamic of how the primary process is going to unfold. I don’t know what he could say in Columbus. I don’t really know what’s going to help his case. I’m glad I’m not advising him. I think it’s a very difficult position that he’s in.”

The justice department's historical federal indictment against Trump could result in prison time for the former president if he's convicted. Trump maintains his innocence despite ongoing legal battles in Georgia, New York and Washington, D.C.

Meantime, English is working to expand the party despite two state party proposals he thinks could hinder that growth. One would prohibit those in the LGBTQIA community from holding high office in the Georgia GOP.

"Why on earth would we want to limit and say any group cannot be part of the party? It doesn't make any sense," English said. "This is a fringe group of people [making these proposals] who just happen to have the loudest voice in the room."

Another proposal would allow the state GOP to disqualify primary election candidates from running. Essentially, this would give the party more control over which candidates could grasp political power in the Peach State.

"If we take away or restrict people from having a voice or voting in the primary, those same people are going to restrict and remove us from having leadership roles in the government," English said. "They're not going to vote for Republicans."

English said that while he voted for Trump in the last two elections, he would support another candidate in the 2024 election in an effort to push forward fresher and younger faces in leadership. 

“I’m not going to be supporting him in the upcoming election because I think there’s a lot of stuff going on," English said. “I’m going to vote for whoever the nominee is. We’ll have to see what happens with all that.”

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