Local Republicans react to debate

By Frank Lewis

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Some local Republican leaders reacted and some have not responded at all in regards to Thursday night’s first Republican debate in Cleveland.

“It was fun,” Scioto County Republican Party Co-Chairwoman Kay Reynolds said. “I quite enjoyed it. I stayed up late watching comments afterwards.”

Did anyone on that stage stand out to her?

“I thought the governor (John Kasich) did very well,” Reynolds said. “I think, going into it, you had expectations as to how people were going to answer questions, react to everything.”

As expected, the first confrontation centered around current front-runner Donald Trump.

“Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person,” Moderator Bret Baier asked.

Only Trump’s hand went into the air and that is when the yelling began.

“This is what’s wrong!” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul shouted. “Maybe he runs as an independent. He’s already hedging his bets.”

Baier and Paul weren’t the only people Trump went toe-to-toe with. Trump has complained in interviews and social media that questions directed at him from moderator Megyn Kelly were targeted, unfair and nasty.

“The questions to me were not nice,” Trump said. “I didn’t think they were appropriate.”

“I felt Donald Trump was even much more abrasive than what I was expecting,” Reynolds told the Daily Times. “I especially had a problem with his attack on Megyn. I thought it was totally uncalled for but it sort of set the tone.”

While he missed the debate that has not kept Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree from following the race, and, like many others, one name rises to the top when he talks about the campaigns.

“He (Trump) has stirred up some things that I think, at this point in the game, is what America is ready for,” Crabtree said. “Over the last 30, 40, 50 years it has kind of gone sour and they need someone who is not afraid to speak their mind. Too many times politicians get afraid of votes so they repeatedly do the wrong thing simply because they’re afraid they might not get elected. He’s going to stay toward the top unless he does something really crazy. He may be our man one day.”

Reynolds said she had not watched the second tier segment at 5 p.m. on Fox, but had heard what seemed to be everyone’s reaction to the participants, especially one candidate.

“It’s sounds as if Carly Fiorina had done very well,” Reynolds said. “I have been a fan of hers going clear back to when she was involved in business. She is a brilliant person – very on-track on everything that’s going on.”

Calls to Republican Co-Chairman Rodney Barnett and Commissioner Bryan Davis were not returned.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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