Republicans plan candidate brunches

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By John Barnhart

Republican Party headquarters has opened on the corner of North Bridge Street and Depot Street, in the building that formerly housed Bluebird Antiques. Supporters held a soft opening Aug. 10.

    “This year we decided not to have a grand opening,” said Charlene Poole, chairman of the committee in charge of the headquarters.
    Instead, they plan to have two Saturday brunches featuring an opportunity to meet Republican candidates. Poole said that they are planning one with Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt and another with George Allen. The candidates will be here for an hour to an hour-and-a-half. She said that they are working to firm up the dates.
    “We hope to have in this building a celebration party,” Poole said.
    That would be on election night, they state.
    “We feel we are in a good position to put on a very nice dinner that night,” she said.
    “We believe in homemade stuff,” Joyce Pedigo added.
    Decorating the headquarters was a group effort. Donna Cone, a member of the headquarters committee, made the table cloths. Tandy Amburgey loaned flags from his collection, including a 9/11 flag that has the names of every person who was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
    The headquarters’ normal weekday hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., but it will have extra hours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office will also remain open late on Fridays. Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. to noon.
    What volunteers hope to do is have people come in, sit down and talk.
    “We want to encourage some of the younger people to come in,” said Poole.
    Poole said that they plan to have position papers and statistics available. There will also be voter registration forms and absentee forms. People can also sign up to join the local Republican Party unit and the Bedford Tea Party.
    Poole believes this is an important election.
    “I’ve been around since Roosevelt and I think this is the most important election in my lifetime,” she said.
    The presidential election gets a lot of attention, but Poole would like people to pay close attention to the Senate. She notes that the Senate ratifies treaties and appoints federal judges.
    “How you vote is going to affect your life, no matter what your age,” she said.