Richmond County GOP leader remembers Norwood

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

February 13, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Congressman Charlie Norwood fought tirelessly in Washington for his party and for the people he represented back here at home.

News 12 sat down with Congressman Norwood's close friend and Richmond County's GOP chair David Barbee to find out what this loss means for him personally and for our district.

Barbee says Norwood was not only his congressman but also his mentor and a good friend, a politician and confidant that he will deeply miss.

Congressman Norwood and David Barbee were a close pair. They first met more than a decade ago and over the years became so close that Barbee says Norwood was like a brother to him.

"I was just so blessed and fortunate for Charlie Norwood to have been in my life," Barbee said.

Now, imagining life without his friend by his side is hard.

His passing wasn't something Barbee was expecting to happen quite so soon, especially since when he last saw his friend in Washington two weeks ago, the congressman seemed to be in good spirits.

"Of course we all pray for miracles, but I understand Charlie was fighting the battle and he fought courageously," Barbee said.

Norwood's legacy is just that: that of a fighter.

He fought tirelessly till the end for the people he represented on Capitol Hill, at the same time fighting for his life.

"He didn't have but one speed, and that was full speed ahead," Barbee said. "He was a champion for the people of this state. He was a public servant from the bottom of his heart."

Norwood was well known for fighting for what he believed in, even if that meant going against his party and the president himself.

"He had backbone, and he believed in fighting for the people, and we're sorely going to miss this. He was a conservative voice for the people."

A voice the people will never hear again...and Barbee says finding a replacement to represent the people of District 10 will be difficult.

"We're going to have to look long and hard for another Charlie Norwood."

Barbee is just one of many in Norwood's close circle of friends grieving over his loss.

News 12 also sat down with Norwood's pastor and friend, Dr. Steven Dodson, who told us about the last conversation he had with Norwood before he passed.

"He was very peaceful," Dr. Dodson said. "Very understanding about the process that he was going through, and expressed appreciation for everyone you could imagine, and expressed concern and love for his family."

Dr. Dodson spent time with the Norwood family tonight at their home and says they are doing as well as can be expected.

The two had been friends for more than five years, and he says it was their mutual love for people that drew them together.

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