January 20, 2005
Local VIPs in Washington for presidential inauguration
BYLINE: BEN SMITH
DATE: January 20, 2005
PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
EDITION: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
SECTION: Gwinnett News
Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister and Commissioner Mike Beaudreau were expected to brave snow and freezing temperatures to hear President Bush take his second-term oath of office in Washington today.
Heather Welch, a Gwinnett County spokeswoman, confirmed late Wednesday that Bannister and Beaudreau were in the nation’s capital to attend the Bush inauguration. Bannister had yet to check into his hotel Wednesday evening, according to a desk clerk.
The two newly elected commissioners were among a small group of local political activists and elected leaders attending the inaugural. State Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) was also in Washington, according to Mark Rountree, a GOP political consultant from Duluth, reached by cellphone.
“It’s freezing up here,” said Rountree, who was attending the inaugural with his wife, Angie.
Inaugural planners were having to deal with the season’s first snowfall, which sneaked up on motorists Wednesday. It prompted a flurry of accidents and school closings.
Officials worried that the weather might cause even more traffic problems for the inauguration. Security precautions have already prompted the closing of 100 square blocks in Washington.