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Local GOP Gears Up

EG Republican Town Committee musters as election season begins.


Former gubernatorial hopeful John Robitaille pointed it out during a speech to local GOP town committee members last Thursday night at : East Greenwich is home base for the R.I. Republican party.

Counting up EG’s local and state elected officials, it’s hard not to agree. In a state where Democrats hold most of the power, Republicans lay claim to all three state legislator posts, all five Town Council seats, and six out of seven School Committee positions in East Greenwich.

Two nights after , the EG Republican Town Committee gathered last Thursday evening to kick off the election season. With the primary just days away, they held a straw poll, charging $1 per “vote.” But, in this election anyway, mulitiple votes were encouraged, as a way to boost the committee’s coffers.

Supporters of the four main candidates on the ballot each delivered a short speech on behalf of their man, including two local candidates for delegate. Ron Paul delegate hopeful Nathaniel Robertson spoke of Paul’s steadfast drive to shrink government and prescient views on terrorism.

The 23-year-old, at least 20 years younger than just about everyone else in the room, called himself “an old-school Republican,” in an interview earlier in the evening.

“I think the job of the federal government is to defend every citizen’s right to life, liberty and property. Everything else is unnecessary and it tends not to work out,” he said.

EG resident Liz Smith is running as a Romney delegate.

“Mitt Romney has had 25 years in the private sector. No other candidate has done that,” she said during her speech. “You can legislate jobs all day long in Washington … Mitt Romney has created them.”

The straw poll tally at the end of the night? Romney 89 votes, Gingrich 25 votes, Paul 17 votes and Santorum 9 votes.

On hand were state representatives Glen Shibley and Bob Watson, as well as senator Dawson Hodgson. None of them have yet said whether or not they will stand for re-election. Bob Bolton, who ran against Watson two years ago as an independent, was also there and said he’s mulling another run, this time as a Republican.

In addition, Michael Riley, from Narragansett, was in attendance. He’s running against Democrat Congressman Jim Langevin.

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