“I’ve been interested in history since I was a young boy, with a particular passion for American history around the time of the American Revolution and the ratification of the Constitution,” he said. “Politics is really just a natural byproduct of that love for America’s unique history and culture, completely unlike any other.
“For the first time in the history of mankind, our Founding Fathers rejected the philosophy of the Divine Right of Kings — or any other philosophy which gave one man an innate right to rule over another man — and declared that we are sovereign beings by virtue of having been born children of our God, and that government has no right to exercise any power which is not first delegated to it by those it would govern. That was a revolutionary concept in all senses of the word, and would change the world for the better.”
Name: Louis DeBroux
City of residence: Taylorsville
Family: Wife — Jennifer, married for 21 years; four sons (Elijah, 20; Noah, 15; Malachi, 12; Ezekiel, 10) and four daughters (Naomi, 19; Shai, 17; Mahalie, 8; Echo, 4)
Occupation: Owner, Gatekeeper Data Backup & Disaster Recovery
Education: Riverdale High School; attended Kennesaw State University
Describe your job and what led you to this line of work?
A: Gatekeeper provides remote/off-site data backup with military-grade encryption, as well as an on-site BDR (back-up/disaster recovery) system for clients with larger data sets. We also offer email archiving and other data services. As owner, I am intimately involved in all aspects of the business.
When was the first time you voted?
A: I voted for the first time when I was 18 years old in 1990, which is the year that Georgia has its gubernatorial elections, along with other state offices, and one U.S. Senate race. Of course, Georgia was a solid Democrat state back then, so none of my candidates won, but I was so excited to be a part of the process that I’d studied for so long. Luckily, Georgia has turned solidly Republican since then and, other than the presidential contest in 2012, all of my candidates won this last cycle. I’ve voted in every presidential preference, primary and general election since then.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the local political scene?
A: I guess finally putting my money where my mouth is. For years I’d sit on the couch after work each night, yelling at the TV about the corruption and idiocy of government and its often harmful effects on us. My wife would always tell me to do something about it then, so finally I did. In the process I’ve learned that not all politicians are corrupt and quite a few — especially locally — are decent men and women who are doing their best to do right by those they serve. That is not to say that I agree with them all the time, but my involvement has given me the opportunity to talk privately with quite a few elected officials, from school board members to U.S. Congressmen and even presidential candidates, and to be able to get information and insight that I would not otherwise get, as well as be able to tell them firsthand why I disagree with them on certain issues, as well as where I support them.
When did you become head of the Republican Party in Bartow County, and what led you to take that position?
A: I became chairman in 2011, and it was an unexpected journey, to say the least. Though I’d started writing my Congressman when I was only about 12 years old, and had always voted Republican, I’d never been directly involved with the party. I voted for then-State Rep. Barry Loudermilk in 2004 when he defeated Democrat-legend Buddy Childers. I had called him and asked him, ‘Why I should vote for him,’ and he said that, ‘I should only vote for him if I believed in strong Christian values, limited government, low taxes and a strong national defense.’ I told him I’d vote for him but would watch him closely to see if he would keep his word. By 2008, I was so impressed with his integrity, even going against his own party leadership when he needed to, that I called him and told him I wanted to help with his re-election. Every single Saturday for the five months leading up to the election, my seven — at the time — children and I walked neighborhoods and knocked doors for Barry.
After the election, the local GOP chairman asked me to run for vice chairman of communications, which I did, writing newsletters and press releases. After six years of dedicated service, former Chairman Michael Huneke informed me in 2010 that he was stepping down at the end of his term, and asked for me to run in his place. As a relative newbie, and with others I felt more deserving and capable, I initially turned him down, several times. However, he explained that those others, for a variety of reasons, could not or would not run, and I acquiesced. I ran for chairman in March 2011 at the county convention and was elected unanimously. I should have seen the warning lights flashing that no one else was running, and after elected I learned why — it is a lot of unpaid, often unnoticed work that no one in their right mind would do unless it was a labor of love. It has been both gratifying and frustrating, and gave me an a greater appreciation for those I followed, but at least I am finally showing my wife and children with my actions what I’ve always told them with my words.
In terms of politics, what do you believe is going right in the county, and what do you believe needs work?
A: Well, every single elected office in Bartow County is held by a Republican, so that is a great start. Having had an opportunity to get to know many of our elected officials, I know that they have the best interests of the citizens of the county at heart. From here I think we just continue to work with them to enact the most conservative policies possible, expanding individual freedom, lowering the cost of government and therefore the tax burden, encouraging personal responsibility, thrift and integrity through the policies we enact. I’d like to see more involvement by members of the community in the political process because, as the ancient Greek statesman Pericles warned, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
A: Professionally, I guess I am gratified that I have been able to do business with integrity, and build up a clientele exclusively through referrals and word of mouth. However, the greatest achievement I have had in my life, and will ever have no matter how long I live, is my 21-plus year marriage to my wife, Jennifer, and the eight children we’ve brought into the world. A loving, long-term marriage is one of the few things that can’t be bought, and can be obtained only through hard work and sacrifice. Other than my relationship with my Heavenly Father, nothing in this life will ever be more important to me than my family.
As the parent of eight children, what do you enjoy most about being a father and what advice do you have for other parents?
A: Watching my children grow has been such an amazing and rewarding experience. Despite being raised in the same home by the same parents, all eight have such different personalities. Since the first day I brought my oldest son home from the hospital, to now, more than two decades later, I’ve put my babies to sleep in my arms each night. There is nothing quite like holding those tiny babies in your arms, knowing that they need you for love, protection and guidance. And though each child has had their challenges, I have been blessed with such wonderful children that make me proud to be a father. They are just genuinely good children, in spite of my many flaws as a father. As for what advice I’d give, I’ve described my parenting philosophy as a combination of Joseph Smith and Ronald Reagan — “I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves,” but I also “Trust but verify.” I was talking to my 17-year old daughter, Shai, a few weeks ago, and she told me that she has rejected temptation many times because she could not bear to see the disappointment in my eyes if she betrayed my trust, and that she never felt the need to rebel because I gave her so much latitude in what she can do. Not that I am remotely comparable to him, but I try to pattern my stewardship as Christ did, teaching correct principles and using love and persuasion to guide, rather than fear and punishment. Kids will all make mistakes, but good kids will usually not make life-altering ones if guided well.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
A: Determined, loyal, patriotic (the latter in the Twain definition —supporting my country always, and my government when it deserves it).
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That when I am not debating politics, I am really quite laid-back and fun-loving. I have a dry, warped sense of humor, and love being around people, who are endlessly fascinating and amusing. It is almost impossible to personally offend me, even when debating politics and religion.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A: At home with my family. Other than that, I love our parks, our world-class museums and walking along the banks of the Etowah River.