Dalton residents may have noticed a familiar face on television news shows over the past several months.
Dalton native Andrea Saul serves as press secretary for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and she’s often on CNN, the Fox News Channel and other media outlets speaking for the former Massachusetts governor.
On Thursday, friends and family will get to catch up with Saul when she appears at the trade center for a fundraiser for the Republican front-runner.
“Andrea is a daughter of Dalton and Whitfield County, and we are very proud to have someone like that so high up in a major presidential campaign,” said Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who is one of the hosts of the reception.
Dalton businessman Phil Neff, another of the hosts, points out that winning presidential candidates often appoint their campaign press secretary as their White House press secretary.
“So there is a chance that someone from Dalton could be the next White House press secretary,” said Neff.
Saul is the daughter of carpet pioneers Julian and Anita Saul.
“I’m looking forward to having her home,” Anita Saul said. “Because she is so busy, it is hard for her to get here. I’m also looking forward to seeing the community come out and support Romney.”
Romney is not expected to attend. In addition to the reception for Saul, Neff said the fundraiser will feature a video from Romney as well as country singer Beau Davidson performing the national anthem.
Saul grew up in the Carpet Capital of the World and went to Westwood, Brookwood and City Park elementary schools before attending Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga. After graduating high school in 2000, she moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University where she majored in communication studies and Spanish.
She graduated in 2004 and worked for NBC in Athens, Greece, during the Olympic games.
After that, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work in a public affairs firm before joining the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2007. She served as director of media affairs, coordinating radio and television media, as well as the high-profile surrogates for McCain on the campaign trial.
In 2009, Saul joined the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as his press secretary handling all of his national media. She has also worked for the Republican National Committee and for the 2010 campaign of California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina.
“She has worked very hard to get to the position she is in,” Anita Saul said.
Neff said many of the “founders of the carpet industry” will be at the event. And Pennington said he expects Romney will receive a great deal of support in Whitfield County.
“He has been a very successful business person, and this country is in serious economic shape. It’s going to take somebody with a business background to figure out a way to get us out of these troubling time,” he said.
“We don’t seem to be making any headway. Just take Georgia, for example. Right at 10 percent of Georgians that have jobs are earning only minimum wage,” Pennington said, referring to a federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday.
Dalton native Andrea Saul is the guest of honor at a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Thursday at the trade center. Saul is Romney’s press secretary.
There will be a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m. ($2,500 per person) and a general reception at 6 ($100 per person). RSVP to Dabney Hollis at (404) 791-7179 or email@example.com.