Marblehead resident Carolyn Adams understands the challenge that lies ahead.
Ottawa County is now and has long been a Democratic Party stronghold. But now that she is the chairman of the Ottawa County Republican Party, she says that “unity” will be her new watchword.
At its December meeting, the Ottawa County Republican Central Committee accepted the resignation of long-time County Chairman Terry Lowe of Williston, as well as the resignation of vice-chairman Joyce Murphy of Port Clinton.
Carolyn Adams and her husband Dex moved to Marblehead from Lima in 2004 and got involved in local politics almost immediately. Things are different in Allen County – it is a strong Republican area. There, Carolyn Adams served as Shawnee Township Trustee for 10 years and was their chairman when she retired to move to Marblehead.
She helped with campaigns for Lima city government Republican candidates as well as Allen County candidates. She helped organize the Presidential Republican Headquarters in 2008 here in Ottawa County, and was appointed to the Central Committee in 2009.
Says the new County Republican leader: “I am so excited and proud the Ottawa County Republican Party Chairman! As party leader, establishing a policy of inclusion and unity is imperative.
“Setting common goals and reaching out across the County will be a priority,” she added. “I want to provide opportunities for involvement on all levels.”
She faces a daunting task in 2012. Former State Representative and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern is back and involved in a big way. He is running for his old seat in the state legislature and was very active in helping new Port Clinton Mayor Vince Leone defeat incumbent Debbie Hymore-Tester.
Ottawa County has two elected Republicans in the Ottawa County Courthouse. Both are County Commissioners (Mark Stahl and Steve Arndt) and both will be running for re-election in November. County Auditor Jodie Regal, a Democrat, has filed to run against Stahl.
There have long been philosophical differences in both major political parties due in large measure to the geographic and demographic nature of Ottawa County.
Carolyn Adams, in a recent meeting with a group of Catawba Island Republican leaders, pledged to work to unite all segments of the Republican Party in the county. She told the group there is too much work to be done to spend time worrying about west end and east end issues.