Activism appreciated – Republicans honor local woman’s work |

Activism appreciated – Republicans honor local woman’s work

Betty Hood has been a Republican ever since she can remember.

Her parents were Republicans, too, said the 84-year old Wolf Mountain resident. And while they always voted, there were never any “hearty organizations” for them to belong to on the prairies of South Dakota where they lived as farmers and ranchers.

At least not like the ones here in Nevada County, where Hood has made a name for herself as a devoted activist since moving to the county in 1981.

“All her life she has been a real activist. She has a lot of ideals and she is not ashamed to get up and say what she believes,” said fellow Republican Gloria Gilchrease.

For her work, Hood was honored at the weekend’s GOP convention as one of California’s 20 most outstanding women in the Republican party.

Specifically, she was awarded for getting 3,860 signatures in support of recalling former Gov. Gray Davis – most of them gathered while sitting with her husband, John Hood, in front of the Kmart in Grass Valley, Betty Hood said.

The Hoods are a common sight in front of the Kmart, usually gathering signatures for one Republican-backed petition or another – the most recent being a petition to support Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed redistricting plans.

They also register people to vote.

“We need to get people interested in the issues,” Betty Hood said, explaining that they register members of any party, not just Republicans. They even go one step further and personally deliver the registration cards to the Elections Office because the mail can be unreliable, she said.

“I think her commitment to being a responsible citizen and her desire to have people participate in the voting process (is) incredible.” said Fran Freedle, the parliamentarian for Republican Women Federated and a former county clerk-recorder.

But the petite woman doesn’t exactly remember when she started getting involved in politics. Her history extends back to at least the ’60s when she remembers persuading the former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater to come to a local PTA meeting when the couple was living in Ray, Ariz, she said.

When they moved to Nevada County in 1981, she attended her first local Republican Central Committee Annual Barbecue in August that year.

“I just enjoy the politics and the activities with the Republican party. That is why I wanted to get involved here,” she said.

Since then, Betty Hood has served as Chairwoman of Republican Central Committee twice and has also served as President of the Nevada County chapter of Republican Women Federated twice. She is still an active organizer of many programs and events.

“I think of Betty as somebody who is always there supporting Republicans,” Freedle said.

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