"Boyd: I won't sign GOP oath to run for (GA) governor
"ATLANTA -- A GOP businessman who has thrown $2 million of his own money into running for governor is refusing to swear loyalty to the state Republican Party.
Party leaders say the oath is required to run as a Republican in Georgia.
But Ray Boyd said he cannot pledge allegiance to a party "that's drifted away from its core principles."
"I'm not a Republican who follows the sheep," Boyd said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"They're going to have to throw me out of the party because I am prepared to go to the mat over this."
Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Everhart said Boyd must either sign the pledge or he cannot run on the GOP line.
"I don't know what the big problem is - you either are a Republican or you're not," she said.
"This is not saying you can't disagree with the party, people do that all the time. This says that he agrees with our principles and that he will agree to abide by those principles."
Boyd said he's provided the state party with alternative language - saying he would not be bound by any position of the Georgia Republican Party - but Everhart wouldn't listen.
He likened Everhart to (Democratic House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi.
The 67-year-old from Rutledge burst upon the Georgia political scene when earlier this month he filed paperwork showing he has invested $2 million of his own money into winning the Republican nomination for governor. Seven other Republican candidates were already jockeying for the GOP nod.
His $2 million gambit immediately became the talk of state politics. While wealthy political insiders don't have a track record of success on the campaign trail in Georgia, an anti-incumbent wind this year has left many wondering of Boyd could stir things up, particularly with tea party activists in the state.
In Georgia, candidates must qualify to run with their respective parties, paying a fee and filing paperwork. The parties then submit the names of the qualified candidates to state elections officials to be placed on the ballot.
Georgia law allows state political parties to require a specific pledge if they choose.
The state Republican Party has adopted the oath as part of its rules. The state Democratic Party has not and a spokesman said no similar pledge is required to run as a Democrat.
Boyd said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's decision to strip state Sen. Preston Smith of his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee for failing to support a new tax on hospitals showed why he could not sign an oath to the GOP.
"It reaffirms to me why I'm running against these politicians who will sign anything, they will say anything," Boyd said. "It's an oath, by God, it means something to me."
Everhart said the next move will be up to Boyd.
"I don't know what else to do for this gentleman. I think he is angry and wants to have his way," she said."