PDT Staff Writer
Republican party faithfuls sauntered in and out at the Scioto County Republican Party headquarters Thursday evening to watch the festivities of the pivotal night of the Republican National Convention on a big screen TV.
“I have referred many times recently to (Mitt) Romney being Reagan-esque, I think we saw the same thing tonight,” Bryan Davis, communications co-chairman of the Scioto County Republican Party, said. “He was fantastic - to the point - touched upon subjects that voters are concerned about. He said he would respect the sanctity of marriage and life, I think that’s going to resonate with a lot of voters. His statement about the military, as far as, no country would dare to come against us because he would strengthen the military. That spoke volumes to our veterans, and of course our current soldiers - men and women and their families.”
People enjoyed refreshments, picked up campaign paraphernalia, and discussed the issues in the upcoming national election.
“We’re just getting together to watch Governor Romney accept the nomination,” communications co-chair Sharon McNelly said. “We invited everyone to come and just have a good time, and to celebrate the fact that we have our candidate now.”
At the same time the get together was going on, there was also the backdrop of competition within the party.
“We’re one of 12 in the state,” Davis said. “The one with the most attendance gets 100 free signs.”
“I’m hearing excitement (in the community),” McNelly said. “I’m hearing people who are hopeful. They’re ready for a change.”
Party co-chairman Rodney Barnett is a veteran of Republican nomination nights.
“I think that as time progresses there’s more enthusiasm from one party and disappointment from another, and independents are the ones we are really looking at very closely,” Barnett said. “We’re not taking anybody for granted. I think a lot of folks have made up their minds, but more and more I see people beginning to even second guess themselves, asking, ‘is it really what we were promised three and a half years ago?’ and a lot of people who are talking with me are saying, ‘gee, it’s not.’”
Barnett, like others in the room, seems happy with the selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate.
“Obviously my first choice was (U.S. Sen.) Rob Portman, but realistically I saw some of the polling, and Rob Portman was only going to make one point difference in the entire race. It wasn’t going to move the needle much,” Barnett said. “Then, I had some others that I really liked, and then as this came down to four or five, I started really looking and listening closely to Congressman Ryan, and I am most impressed. I think he is highly intellectual. He is one who has motivated the entire base. He has substance. He has charisma. I think he is going to add a tremendous amount to the ticket.”
Davis said he saw what he was hoping to see, Romney talk about specific issues affecting all Americans.
“He talked about health care. He spoke about (Obama) taking money out of Medicare, and how he would put it back in and strengthen it. I think that’s going to speak to seniors a lot,” Davis said. “Overall, I think it was a great speech.”
Davis said the public is invited to a cookout in front of the Republican headquarters across from the Scioto County Courthouse on Sixth Street in Portsmouth today. Davis said the event will follow the River Days parade, and they will cook out, as well as introduce Republican candidates to those in attendance.
“We will do this to honor people who go out and work jobs,” Davis said. “After all it’s Labor Day weekend, and we support the working men and women and we want to honor them.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org