Republicans rally at weekend HQ opening

Published 5:12 pm Monday, August 8, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                           Congressman Phil Roe addresses attendees about the November election on Saturday during the Carter County Republican Party headquarters open house in downtown Elizabethton.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Congressman Phil Roe addresses attendees about the November election on Saturday during the Carter County Republican Party headquarters open house in downtown Elizabethton.


With the dust settling from the primary election, it is full speed ahead for the local Republican Party for the November general election.
Members of the Republican Party joined together Saturday with citizens for the grand opening of the Carter County Republican Party headquarters, located in Historic Downtown Elizabethton.
It was a joyous occasion, according to Carter County Republican Party chairwoman Judy Reed.
“Today is the grand opening for our headquarters,” Reed said. “We have all these outgoing Republicans here, just like how the majority of Carter County is. There is a wonderful group of people here today and this is such a wonderful county where we can elect such qualified candidates.”
Local politicians socialized with citizens just days after a relatively non-competitive primary election from Thursday. Individuals in attendance included Carter County Board of Education member Rusty Barnett, Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey, Representatives John Holsclaw, Jr. and Timothy Hill, Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford, and John Holder and John Walton, both members of the party that continue to help out the community, Reed said.
Various refreshments were provided, including doughnuts and coffee, prior to the opening remarks for the ceremony inside the facility.
The headquarters procured the services of Congressman Phil Roe to speak in front of the packed house. Roe was also up for re-election in the 1st Congressional District for the House of Representatives and won handily against challenger Clint Tribble.
“Carter County has always been for Phil Roe,” Reed said. “We appreciate him coming by to speak with us today. He’s such a great guy.”
During the weekend talk, Roe went on to provide an update on the government, saying that the House of Representatives is currently in good hands.
“We’re at 247,” Roe said of the Republican presence. “That’s the most since the 1920s.”
Solidifying the base numbers in the Senate will be of importance, while the Congressman went on to say that the Republican Party has multiple highly-contested races in the Senate that will prove to be of importance for the years to come. The races included Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Arizona and Nevada.
“You look at these races, and they’re very important for us,” he said. “Take New Hampshire for example. The Democratic Party has spent $20 million against Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Could you imagine that type of money coming in to an area like Carter County? We’re in for some battles but I feel confident in our chances.”
Roe also fielded questions and provided insight for the November election where the party’s candidate Donald Trump will go against the Democratic Party’s nominee Hillary Clinton.
“You know what you’re getting with Hillary Clinton,” he said. “Much of the same, if not worse, than what we have with president Barrack Obama. Donald Trump … it’s a little bit of the unknown and I am willing to step into the unknown and support him.”
The Congressman said he recently performed a poll within the 1st Congressional District, with the majority of numbers showing that citizens don’t like where the country is going and having unfavorable opinions of Clinton.
Key factors affecting areas like Carter County is the reduction of home ownership and new businesses being created, Roe said. The Congressman provided numbers that new businesses were booming in the early to mid ’90s with approximately 420,000 new businesses being created. That number has slowly decreased, he added, within the 100,000 category.
“We’re not seeing any new businesses in our area,” Roe said. “They’re going to these bigger cities and that’s causing our younger people to leave. We’ve seen a 60 percent net business loss. The loss of new businesses being created has been one thing this current administration can be credited for, and we’re expecting it to be that way with Hillary.”
While Roe did voice support for Trump, he did mention the nominee needs to work on a few kinks.
“He needs to have his mouth duct taped,” he said with a chuckle. “There are just some things you don’t say.”
While it is looking like it could be a tough race moving forward, Roe said the Republican Party can come away with a win this November.
“We’re on the 30-yard line,” he said. “I’d say right now, the odds are in the Democrats’ favor, but we are still in this. We can’t really put much trust in the national polls. We just need to work together to help get Mr. Trump elected. We all know he will carry the state of Tennessee. It’s our job to get people to come out and vote locally, because every no-vote is a vote for Hillary. We also need to work together with our brothers and sisters in North Carolina and Virginia to help make sure we can win those states.”
Roe also fielded questions on a variety of topics, including the recent news reports of $400 million being transported to Iran from the administration and how Trump can work together with other top named Republican Party officials.

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