Koester to lead local GOP

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 12:04 AM

Devin Koester has been elected the Sevier County Republican Party’s new chairman. And he’d like the organization to keep doing what it’s doing.

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” said Koester, who is the city’s vice mayor. He has served on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen since 2011. He is, a press release notes, the first elected official in recent memory to serve as GOP chair.

“Sonny’s done a fabulous job, getting up attendance, finding speakers” said Koester, referring to Sonny Coane, who just finished a two-year stint as Koester’s predecessor. “I don’t foresee any significant changes.”

The Sevier County GOP is “very strong,” Koester said, citing the local success of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who received 77 percent of the vote here.

“We have a lot of citizens here who live their lives by conservative values,” Koester said. “I think Sevier County has prospered because of the strong Republican principles that we have.”

The new chairman would like the local GOP to host a talk about gun control. “It’s a hot topic,” he said. “It seems to me that Washington is very adamant in pushing legislation to limit gun rights. On a personal note, that interests me. I’d like to know more about that.”

A Sevierville lawyer, Koester is 36. “We need more young people in leadership roles,” he said. “I think everybody needs to take an interest in the role of government in their lives.”

kburns@themountainpress.com