Interview with Rusty Paul, September 14, 2017

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Rusty Paul discusses his early exposure to politics while growing up in civil rights-era Alabama and his involvement in Republican politics after moving to Georgia, including creating a statewide Republican Party newspaper. Paul recalls the political dynamics surrounding the 1980 elections, including the election of Mack Mattingly to the U.S. Senate and the Ronald Reagan's presidential win. He talks about his decision to turn down a position in the Reagan Administration to instead focus on local campaigns. Paul also discusses working on Jack Kemp's unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign, and later returning to Georgia to run for Republican Party Chairman. As chairman, Paul focused on effective candidate recruitment and campaign management, with a focus on bolstering campaigns in rural areas outside of metro Atlanta. Paul reflects on the polarization of politics on the local, state, and national levels and gives his predictions for the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Rusty Paul grew up in the Birmingham, Alabama area during the 1950s and 60s. He has worked in journalism as a newspaper and radio reporter, chaired the Republican Party in Georgia (1995-1999), served as a city councilman in Stone Mountain (1077-1983) and Sandy Springs (2014-present), and served as a state senator in the Georgia General Assembly (2001-2003).






Oral History Item Type Metadata



119 minutes


Rusty Paul and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with Rusty Paul, September 14, 2017,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed July 25, 2024,