The local arms of the two major political parties are gearing up for the fall election, with the Republicans already opening their headquarters full time, and the Democrats planning to open theirs just after Labor Day. Both parties will be represented with booths at the upcoming Highland County Fair.
At Highland County GOP headquarters at 200 W. Main Street in Hillsboro, volunteers are staffing the office each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the most popular items have been signs touting the election of Donald Trump for president.
Officials said they received a relatively small allotment of Trump-Pence signs through official avenues, so they purchased an additional 500 – about half are already gone – which they are providing to people in exchange for a requested $2 donation. Trump hats (“Make America Great Again”), shirts and bumper stickers are also popular, officials said.
Signs, buttons and literature for other Republican candidates are also available at the headquarters. On Tuesday afternoon, volunteers greeted a steady stream of voters who came into the headquarters seeking campaign materials, especially Trump signs.
Paulette Donley, local GOP chair, said Tuesday that the headquarters has been busy since opening full time. Residents can also register to vote, change their voter address or apply for absentee ballots at the headquarters.
During fair week Sept. 3-10, the headquarters’ hours will vary, with most volunteers manning the GOP booth in the Wharton Building.
Dinah Phillips, Highland County Democratic Party chair, said Tuesday that she is narrowing a search for a headquarters and plans to have one open the week after the fair. She said the headquarters will likely be at a location on Main Street in Hillsboro.
The party will once again have a booth in the Merchants Building at the fair, said Phillips. She said signs supporting Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates are expected soon. In the meantime, party volunteers will take the names and addresses of people at the fair who ask for the campaign materials and make sure they receive them, she said.
Both Trump and Clinton were victorious in Highland County in their respective primaries. Clinton was also the overall winner in Ohio on the Democratic side, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich topped Trump and other candidates as the overall winner in Ohio in the GOP primary.
The Real Clear Politics average of Ohio polling shows Clinton currently leading Trump by 4.8 points in the Buckeye State.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.