By DIANE DIERKS
"I don't know how I stand on everything, but when I get there, I will study the pros and cons and vote on what is best for the people," said Amos Thomas, incumbent District 44 State Representative, at the Republican Fall Dinner, on Saturday, at the Jackson Township Firehouse.
Thomas was the first speaker to share his thoughts on the upcoming election, as Republicans gathered for dinner and planned their strategy to gear up for the final months before November elections.
Republican party members are keeping a close eye on the 8th District U.S. Representative race between Republican incumbent John Hostettler and Democrat challenger Brad Ellsworth.
According to Washington Township board member, Michael Buell, Hostettler was one of the few Republican House Representatives who voted against the Iraq initiative and one of the few candidates who have not accepted PAC (political action committee) contributions for campaigns.
"The 8th District is truly blessed to have a representative like John Hostettler, who is not guided by the popular decision, but by what is right," he said.
The Sheriff's race was a major point of discussion. There are three candidates vying for the position of Clay County Sheriff, Republican incumbent Sheriff Michael Heaton, Democrat candidate Robert Gambill and Independent candidate Larry Pierce.
"It's a hard fought battle against a three-way race," Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger said.
Reberger referenced last week's marijuana seizure as proof that the Clay County's Sheriff's office is working hard to reduce crime.
Clay County Council President Larry Moss said, "I've heard about a lot of requests of people wanting to transfer their probation out of Clay County because Clay County is watching them too closely. That's a good thing - we're doing our job. This guy is a fantastic sheriff."
Sheriff Heaton attended the dinner briefly.
Moss went on to say that Republicans need to turn their attention to poll attendance for the November elections.
Moss said the Democrats have three major strategies, "Reduce conservative voter turnout, reduce conservative voter turnout, and reduce conservative voter turnout."
Reid Dallas, candidate for District 46 State Representative said, "We have to show up this year. This election is about idealism, opportunity and new ideas. There needs to be more safeguarding of our liberties. Law makers are too quick to give up liberty and freedom. We need law makers who acknowledge God, rather than remove God."
Sharon Koehler, Clay County Republican Party Chair, concluded the dinner and announced the grand opening of the Republican Headquarters, which will be housed in the former Sunshine Bible Bookstore on National Ave. in Brazil. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday.