Natchezians attend Democratic, Republican national conventions

Published 12:19 am Thursday, July 28, 2016

NATCHEZ — At least two Natchezians have been witness to the national political landscape last week and this week as the Republican and Democratic national conventions drew global attention.

Deputy Political Action Committee (PAC) Director for the Republican National Congressional Committee and 2006 Trinity graduate Grafton Pritchartt attended the RNC last week to assist clients.

Ro’chelle Williams, a 2010 graduate of Natchez High School, has been doing his part for the Democratic National Committee as well by attending the DNC in Philadelphia this week.

Email newsletter signup

Williams is the associate director at Brazile and Associates. Donna Brazile is the acting chair of the Democratic National Committee. She assumed her post this week after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted.

Williams said his job has been to help staff the events, and he has also been acting as an assistant for the convention, helping out on the floor during roll call votes. Williams said he also has had the opportunity to sit in on caucuses and counsel meetings.

Pritchartt attended the RNC because of her job, making sure her clients, who donate money to Republican campaigns, were well taken care of.

“My job was to staff the suite for our donors,” Pritchartt said. “I was able to walk down on the floor and do whatever was needed of me. We help staff these events, and we had a brunch for our donors with Governor Kasich.”

Though Pritchartt had these responsibilities and many more and was working five to six days a week for 12 to 14 hours a day, she said it was all worth it to get to attend the convention.

“I was on the floor when New York cast the amount of votes needed to nominate Trump as President,” Pritchartt said. “I’ve wanted to go to the convention since I was in sixth grade at Trinity. To have my feet on the floor and get to see this.

“The most gratifying part is that none of us had any idea what we were doing, because none of us had been to convention before, and we were able to go in and be such a big part of it.”

Williams also had no experience with the DNC when he took off for Philadelphia this week.

“It’s my first convention, and it’s been a very eye-opening experience for me, and very helpful,” Williams said. “I think a lot of people could learn by watching these, and I think everyone should go to at least one convention in their lifetime.”

Williams said he got to meet with U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., as well as attend a gathering for Mississippi delegation.

Pritchartt said she felt a deep pride in Mississippi’s role at the RNC as well.

“It was a really proud moment for me to see such strong Mississippi leadership at the Convention,” Pritchartt said. “Between NRSC (National Republican Senate Committee) Chairman Roger Wicker, Gov. (Phil) Bryant, Gov. (Haley) Barbour, Congressman Gregg Harper, our state delegation and the staff that hailed from Mississippi it really did fell like a little slice of home was in Cleveland.”