Ohio: From red to blue

After a round of tiring, last-minute campaigning, a small group of ardent local republicans gathered together in Bowling Green to wait optimistically for election results to be announced.

Their celebration last night marked the end of a long election season for local and state republican candidates on yesterday’s ballot.

Even though most of the attendees were upbeat about the GOP’s chances in Wood County, the candidates themselves were weary of making any early predictions.

“You never know till the polls are closed and the votes are cast,” said Robert Latta, incumbent republican nominee for the 6th Ohio House District. “You do the best job in your office and you do everything you possibly can during the campaign. Then it’s just up to the voters.”

Latta said he didn’t actually spend much time campaigning on Election Day, even though many of his supporters were out in full force up until the moment the polls closed.

Members of the College Republicans stationed themselves at polling places across the county, posting signs and handing out Republican Party literature, all in hopes of swaying any voters who might still have been undecided.

“I think that person to person contact is always the most effective,” said Danielle Winters, a graduate student and first vice-chair of the College Republicans.

“The Republican Party has found in the last couple of elections that voter outreach really helps,” she said. “That’s what gets people out to the polls: The grass roots effort.”

But despite all the effort in precincts across the county, the College Republicans opted not to organize any last minute campaigning on campus.

“The College Democrats already spend a lot of time in the Union and we figured our time would be best spent in the outlying areas,” said Mike Woodall, senior and member of the College Republicans. “And anyway, usually the turnout among college students is low.”

Republicans also spent the day manning call centers, dialing up party members to remind them of the election, answer any questions the might have and even offer to transport them to their polling place.

“We found a little old lady in Fostoria who needed a ride to the polls, and we ended up driving out to Fostoria to give her a ride,” said Kevin Mellott, sophomore and member of the College Republicans.

When all the last minute campaigning was finally complete, the republicans were left with nothing to do but wait pensively for the votes to be tallied and hope for the best.

“You do the best that you can do and then it’s just up to the voters,” Mellott said. “We know we’ve done as much work as we possibly can in the last couple of weeks.”

Even though he was somewhat concerned about republican’s chances at the state and national levels, Mellott predicted the Wood County Republicans would preserver.

“Whatever happens at the state, I don’t think is going to affect our county very much,” he said. “We have a strong county government that works well as a team. And I think most of our elected officials will stay elected.”