Republicans gather in local home |

Republicans gather in local home

About 20 local Republicans gathered in an Alta Sierra living room Thursday intently watching President George W. Bush’s nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in New York City. The event was one of 7,796 “Parties for the President” happening nationwide and one of at least two in Nevada County.

The Alta Sierra house party was hosted by Karen and Hank DiPillo, who said they were inspired after attending a similar event in the Midwest earlier this year. Residents mostly listened calmly to the speech which touched on subjects about “conservative values,” the troops, and liberty. There were occasional applause and nods of approval.

“I loved it,” said John Spencer, a candidate for the District 3 Board of Supervisor seat, about the speech. He and his wife, Grass Valley Mayor Patti Ingram, were both donning T-shirts with Spencer’s campaign logo.

“(President Bush) is a very sincere and dedicated man. To do the job, we need somebody who shoots straight,” Spencer said. The office Spencer is seeking is a nonpartisan and Spencer said “I hate to be so partisan,” but that he feels confident he can listen to all opinions.

Other responses to the President’s speech were also positive. “He concentrated on the things he put into place,” said Big Oak Valley resident Kathy Bretón said.

Residents said they were pleased with the convention and the speeches they heard. “I think by far this is the best evening. It was the most impactful,” said Susan Rice, a resident of Alta Sierra Ranches.

After listening to the speeches and watching the balloons fall on the Bush fans in Madison Square Garden, host Hank DiPillo spoke to the group and gave away baseball hats in a raffle. He said “first and foremost tonight I am a very conservative Republican.”

Nevada County is home to 27,042 active registered Republicans, which is 44.6 percent of the voters, according to the Nevada County Elections office. Thirty-two percent of voters are registered Democrat.

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