The Tennessee Republican Party honored a Johnson City party organizer at its 44th annual Statesmen’s Dinner on July 31.

Wanda May was recognized as a Statesman of the Year for the 1st Congressional District at the GOP fundraising event, which was held at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville.

U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger, R-Kingsport, nominated the conservative activist for the award.

“Wanda May has been instrumental in recruiting, electing and raising funds for conservative Republican candidates in East Tennessee since 1970 and helped found the East Tennessee Republican Club, now one of the largest GOP groups in the state,” Harshbarger said in honoring May.

A plaque was presented to May recognizing her “outstanding service and commitment to the Republican Party.”

“I’m humbled by this recognition, and grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to work with over all these years,” May said in a statement released by Harshbarger’s office.

The East Tennessee Republican Club also issued a statement on its Facebook page this week congratulating May, who serves as its first vice president.

The club noted: “This is very much deserved!”

U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was the keynote speaker at the state GOP gala.

Republican leaders said more than 1,400 people attended the event, which raised $625,000 for the party.

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Press Senior Reporter

Robert Houk has served as a journalist and photographer at the Press since 1987. He is a recipient of the Associated Press Managing Editors Malcom Law Award for investigative reporting.

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