SIDNEY — Several dozen people gathered at Fricker’s in Sidney, Thursday night, to watch television broadcasts of Donald Trump’s accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for president.
The Trump campaign had organized the watch party to celebrate the candidate and to register volunteers to help get the vote out for him in November.
Nathan Zehringer, of Jackson Center, serves as the Shelby County chairman of the campaign.
“Initially I was a big Kasich person for personal reasons,” he admitted. A relative served in Gov. John Kasich’s administration. “But when I saw Donald Trump give his introduction speech a year ago last June, I saw someone with the ability to speak and not be afraid of his message. I called the campaign and said I’d like to help.” By the primary in March, he was solidly in Trump’s camp.
As county chairman, a volunteer position, he will organize more social events and “make sure Shelby County Republicans are helping to get Mr. Trump elected,” he said. He thinks Kasich, who boycotted the party convention in Cleveland this week, should be ashamed.
“We all appreciate Gov. Kasich’s ability to turn around Ohio. But we need someone who can speak to problems and bring America around,” Zehringer said.
Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann, of Anna, who is chairwoman of the Shelby County Republican Party, is serving as an honorary co-chairwoman of the campaign here. Other co-chairmen are Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart and Tim Gleason, of Realty 2000.
Bob Luckey, of rural Sidney, voted for Mike Huckabee in the primary election, but he is solidly behind the presidential candidate now. He attended the watch party to register to help with phone calls during the next several months.
Luckey paraphrased a convention speaker by saying that he’s thrown his support to Trump because “at this time, it’s not just a turning point, it’s not whether we’re going left or right as a country but up or down,” he quoted. “I feel Donald Trump is sincere in being a champion for the rights of the unborn. That’s the main reason I’m a Republican — the prolife issue. I don’t vote Democratic because the socialist agenda is eroding our Christian values.”
Another attendee said she’ll vote for Trump because, “Never Hillary.” Sanna Hill-Aikin, of Sidney, voted for Ted Cruz in the primary. She’s counting on Trump to unify the nation.
“The main thing is that the country has been so divided under Barack Obama. I’m hoping (Trump) can bring order and unity back to the country,” she said.
Jack Preston, of rural Wapakoneta, is a former career Army officer who sits on the Auglaize County Republican Central Committee. He admitted to attending the watch party because, “it sounded like fun,” but he has strong feelings that Trump is the right person to be president.
“We need a leader,” he said. “You have to make up your own mind about what you want out of our country. I think Donald Trump will take us where we need to go.”
He said that it was his experience during 23 years in the service that during Republican administrations, the military had the equipment and personnel it needed to do the job it was asked to do.
“When you have a Democratic (administration), they steal from the military for something else,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.