Mitt Romney secured the Republican Party's nomination for President Tuesday night. Local Republicans were asked for their reaction to the nomination and the convention. Most were positive.
County Executive Greg Edwards was reached by phone while he was traveling by bus in Tampa, Fla. He has had a chance to experience the convention first-hand and traveled there early this week. He will not stay for the full convention since he has several meetings scheduled at the end of this week in Chautauqua County.
When he asked if he was happy with the nomination, his reply was an enthusiastic, "Absolutely!"
Edwards has enjoyed the experience of the convention. He said, "Whatever people have seen on television, the speeches are ten times better in person."
Edwards pointed out that a variety of people made presentations at the convention including women, Latinos and small business owners who are passionate about their beliefs.
For Edwards, the best part of the convention has been meeting other Republicans. "I've met county leaders from around the country. ... They are making the same difficult decisions we are making in Chautauqua County. We are trying to get the private sector involved."
One of the interesting parts of the convention for Edwards is a debt clock. According to this clock, just since the convention began the debt has increased by $3 billion.
Vice-chairman of the Pomfret Republican Committee, Michael Sullivan, was also enthusiastic about the nomination.
"We've got somebody who knows how to lead and is on the right side of so many issues. There are a number of congressional seats up for election. There is a chance to undo some of the damage done in the last four years."
Sullivan has been watching some of the convention and catching up with parts online. He felt that the need to condense the convention actually helped. Sullivan pointed out that speeches by Romney's wife, Ann, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the same day provided both a personal perspective and a rousing political call.
"It was a rousing one, two punch that seemed well-placed," he said. That wouldn't have happened if the convention was longer.
Sullivan concluded. "He (Romney) is somebody you might not want to spend time with over drinks, but he is the right guy to come and fix the problems."
City of Dunkirk Republican Chairman, Truman Bradley said, "Romney wasn't my first choice but he is a capable man and a proven leader."
Bradley thought it was important to note the theme of the convention is that conservative republican ideas do work. He said, "Romney is affluent, but he made himself."
Speaking about Ann Romney's speech he said, "They (the Romneys) have everyday problems just as everyday people do." He felt that was important to understand this and not paint Romney as a "vulture" capitalist.
Bradley concluded, "He is ten times better than what we have in office."
County Legislator George Borrello (R-Irving) was reached in Connecticut where he had traveled on business. He said, "I think this is a critical time in our history. The choice is continuing down the path of irresponsible spending or returning to a responsible budget. We must get our debt under control."
Borrello liked the Romney-Ryan ticket. He spoke about Paul Ryan, the vice-presidential candidate saying, "Paul Ryan is an expert on budget numbers. He understands Washington but is not an insider. That's the best of both worlds."
County Legislator John Runkle (R-Cassadaga) has not had much of a chance to watch the convention so far, but did comment on the Romney nomination.
He said, "I am very happy with Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president. He has a great deal of experience in both the private and public sectors. He has been an extremely successful businessman and possesses the fiscal skills to put this nation back on it's feet. Additionally, he is a man of integrity and I believe that he has the nation's best interest at heart."
Robert Duff, (R-Sheridan) who supports Romney explained that his family has had a long history of serving the country in the military. He said, "I believe in our country. ... I want America back to the standard it was."
Duff found Ann Romney's speech touching. "I wouldn't be where I am without my wife. I have a wife who absolutely carries the ball. If you want a job done, it is best to hire a woman to do it," he said.
A few local Republicans did not wish to express an opinion. Former Dunkirk mayor Richard Frey said since he has left office, he really didn't want to comment.
Kathy Tampio of Silver Creek said, " I am working as the clerk of the legislature which is a non-partisan position. I don't think it would be appropriate to make a political comment at this time."
Legislator Robert Scudder (R-Fredonia) who also chose not to express an opinion said, "I don't think of myself as a politician. ... I try not to distance myself from my constituents. I want to serve them all. Republicans voted for me. Democrats voted for me."
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