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Mixing Elephants, Hogs and Fire

May 3, 2009 - Joselyn King
There is a Republican Party in Ohio County. There really is. You just haven't seen or heard much from them lately.

And local GOP members are set to show off a sense of humor this week as they host a "pork roast" to tout their dissatisfaction with recent spending measures enacted by the federal government.

While the hog roasts over the fire, the Ohio County GOP members say they will gather around an actual pork barrel wearing pig noses.

The pork roast is set for 6-11 p.m. Friday, May 8, at the Bethlehem Community Park shelter.

It's one of the few events the Ohio County GOP has sponsored in recent years. Members largely have kept a low profile since the 2006 death of former county party chairman, Kathy Fortunato, and the subsequent loss of two House of Delegates seats later that year.

Current executive committee members say the party will become more visible in the community in the months leading up to the 2010 election.

The local GOP is currently without a chairman, and the executive committee hopes to name a new one in the coming weeks.

Belmont County GOP Chairman Kent Moore tells me he might attend, and the Ohio County GOP might do well to look to their neighbors across the river for inspiration.

Moore took over the party in 2006 just as it became demoralized over the indictment of its former political standard-bearer -- ­ then-U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.

But the Belmont County party had rejuvenated by the time of the 2008 election, and last year even hosted a visit by Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

The county party has its own gathering place ­ a year-round party headquarters at the former Cherry Tree toy factory in Belmont. It provides a place for people of like minds to gather.

For example, the monthly meeting of the Ronald Reagan Club convenes there.

Moore suggests there might even be some supporters interested in being candidates for Belmont County office next year.

Ohio County GOP leaders just have to start by lighting a fire. . . .


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