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Monday, May 2, 2016

Republicans come out on top in county election

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There was plenty of jubilation and excitement among Greene County Republicans as the vote totals were announced in Tuesday's election.

The Republicans won both county commissioner races, picked up two of three available seats on the county council, retained the surveyor's office, and won the treasurer's office for the first time in years.

The tally gave the GOP something unusual for Greene County, considered for a long time to be a Democrat county.

Starting Jan. 1, 2013, the Republicans will have every elected office in the county courthouse.

They will have a 3-0 majority on the Greene County Commissioners with a gain of two seats. They will also own a 4-3 majority on the Greene County Council with a gain of one Republican seat.

The last time the GOP had a 3-0 majority on the commissioners was 28 years ago in 1984, when the late Wayne Moore, the late Dennis Bays and Bill Helms held the seats.

That same year was the last time Republicans held a political edge on both the commissioners and county council.

Current County GOP Chairman Otto Prow, of rural Solsberry, was a member of the county council that took office in 1984 along with the late Gene Hayes, the late Guy Glover, and the late Tom Oliphant, Sr.

Prow said it was obvious that local voters were not voting a lot of straight tickets on Tuesday and looking at the candidates for who they were and how they could best serve the county.

Prow pointed out the turnout that numbered over 64 percent countywide was encouraging and mirrored a GOP trend that he noticed throughout the state.

Prow isn't sure if the Republicans have ever possessed every elected county office. If so, it has been decades ago.

"I can't remember when that ever happened. I don't think it ever did recently. Maybe it was back in the '40s or before," he said.

The number of die-hard, straight ticket party voters in the county was clearly low.

The Republicans voted 2,312 straight tickets, compared to 1,571 for the Democrats out of a total of 13,433 votes cast Tuesday.

"People will jump now (to an opposing party candidate)," Prow said. "I think it's that personal relationship when they meet a candidate. They get to know them."

Prow said voter turnout was encouraging for both parties.

"I'm glad people came out to vote. It really makes a difference. That way they can't say somebody got in there by a fluke. When nearly 70 percent of the people voted they wanted those people in there," Prow added.

Greene County Vice GOP Chairperson Pam Yoho agreed.

"I'm very proud of the people of the county. I think they looked at the candidates for who they were and what they represented. They really studied. There wasn't very many straight tickets pulled so I think they looked at the candidate, what they represented and can they represent them with their concerns that they have and the issues that we face," Yoho said. "When you look at the numbers I'm very proud of the people that voted and them using their vote as a voice and voting for the person that they felt best represented them.

"People want people in office that take care of the county's checkbook, just like they take care of their own. They want that fiscal responsibility."

Prow, an admitted Mitt Romney fan, said the overall results were somewhat bittersweet with the re-election of Democrat President Barack Obama.

But he says it's time to accept the vote of the people and support the president and all of the candidates elected ---- regardless of party affiliation.

However, he quickly added in partisan fashion, "We'll get them next time ... two years from now we'll do it again."

Yoho is also looking ahead to the 2014 mid-term election.

"In 530 days it will be the 2014 primary, so where do you think my focus is?" she added with a chuckle.

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