Bryant new TN College Republican chair
April 17, 2007

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     Jonathan Bryant, a Bryan College junior from Winchester, Ky., has been elected chair of the Tennessee College Republicans for the coming year.
     Jonathan, a politics and government major, has been active in the statewide organization since his freshman year when he served as executive director. This past year he was vice chair.
     Putting political theory into practice, he said he built a coalition of representatives from 10 campuses to support his successful candidacy this year. His vice chair is from Lee University, the finance director is from Tennessee Temple University and his secretary is fellow Bryan student Paul Shanks. He was nominated by the delegation from Belmont University.
     His plans this year include “building a College Republican Federation identity. For College Republicans, numbers ebb and flow depending on whether it is an election year. I want to work on regional events that will keep the membership interested and involved. This hasn’t been done before.
     “I want to work on sponsoring regional events—concerts, sports, movies, something where we can develop friends and contacts at different schools. I don’t want this to be just politics. And I want to export our success with the Corker (U.S. Senator Bob Corker) campaign to other states.”
     While politics may not be the total focus of the Bryant administration, it will play a large role. Jonathan plans to organize College Republican trips to support Republican gubernatorial candidates in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi this year. He also plans to attend the College Republican national convention this summer.
     Jonathan acknowledged the irony of his serving as chair of the College Republicans since the namesake of Bryan College, William Jennings Bryan, is considered by many to be the father of the modern Democratic Party.
     But, he said, “If you look at the issues that Bryan felt passionate about—populism, individual responsibility, having a Christian voice in politics, those issues seem to have switched parties. So many policies he stood for are not championed by the Democrats. In today’s world, I feel he would be a Republican. He was more in the mold of Southern Democrats like Zell Miller.”