GOP names new leader

A county council member has been named as the new leader of the Johnson County Republican Party.

Beth Boyce was unanimously selected as the new GOP county president, taking over for Sandi Huddleston, who retired from the position last month.

The Republican Party head sets up and leads caucuses, which are GOP-only votes to replace Republican seats in local offices.

The leader also finds Republican candidates for local government elections, assists with fundraising for the party and recruits poll workers.

Boyce served as the Johnson County Republican Party treasurer for about six years and has been on the Johnson County Council since 2007.

“She’s very driven,” GOP vice chairman Jeff Colvin said. “That’s probably one of her best qualities — she’s driven to succeed.”

To pick the new party leader, about 150 members of the party gathered for a caucus Monday night, Colvin said. Boyce was the only person who applied for the position, he said. Instead of a traditional secret ballot, party members decided to do a spoken vote for Boyce, Colvin said.

With the presidential election next year, Boyce said, she wants to find residents who’ve recently moved into the area and get them registered to vote.

She wants to improve the voter turnout for Johnson County, since it has been low in recent municipal and general elections, she said.

“I’m excited and I appreciate everyone’s support, and I appreciate what lies ahead,” Boyce said. “It’s a fun year for the party because there’s so many new faces.”

Now, the local Republican Party will need to appoint a new treasurer, and officials hope to pick someone before the end of the year, Colvin said.