Behind the Georgia GOP’s hunt for votes in unusual places

GEORGETOWN - This is a strange place for the Republican Party to stake its future. Quitman County is one of Georgia's least populous spots. It's also one of the poorest and, dubiously for the GOP, solidly Democratic.

It’s here, in this county of hardly 2,000 people about 150 miles southwest of Atlanta, where the state GOP is trying to revive a long dormant Republican organization.

As Democrats seek to take advantage of an influx of newcomers and a growing tide of minority voters, the GOP is launching a quiet counteroffensive to beef up support in future battlegrounds. And Quitman is one of a handful of places where the party is toiling to build its infrastructure.

The GOP’s goal here goes well beyond swinging control of the County Commission. Party leaders from Gov. Nathan Deal on down acknowledge that Republicans need to make more inroads to minority voters in places such as Quitman, where blacks narrowly outnumber whites.