Republicans gear up in Nevada County |

Republicans gear up in Nevada County

Eileen Joycerew Bedwell (right), candidate for county supervisor, shakes hands with Rich Luethke of Nevada City Sunday during a Republican fund-raising barbecue held at the fairgrounds.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Vowing to take back California, local Republicans Sunday licked their chops over barbecue and the prospect of returning conservative values to the Golden State.

Candidates at the annual Republican barbecue at the Nevada County Fairgrounds blamed Democratic Gov. Gray Davis for the state’s multibillion dollar budget deficit, higher utility bills and a loss of the state’s independent spirit.

Keith Olberg, the Republican nominee for secretary of state, said it’s important to retain a sense of individuality when approaching the polls Nov. 5. Olberg is challenging state Assemblyman Kevin Shelley of San Francisco for the office charged with ratifying elections.

Olberg, a three-term member of the state Assembly, drew applause and cheers after relating how Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris ratified George W. Bush as the winner in that state in 2000. Had Harris declared Vice President Al Gore the winner, “we would be apologizing to the people of Afghanistan right now,” he said.

State Sen. Tom McClintock, making his second bid for state controller, said Republicans have a chance to sweep top offices like they nearly did 36 years ago.

“The question we have to ask in 72 days is, do you want to continue going down the road we’ve been?” he said.

Local politicians spoke of restoring a sense of balance to Nevada County.

“I believe that our current board of supervisors are pushing a pretty staunch environmental agenda down our throats,” District 4 supervisorial candidate Robin Sutherland said. “We need roads; we don’t need new parks.”

Drew Bedwell, running in District 3, said he?s been forced to change his persona.

“I’m setting aside the activist Drew and becoming the politician Drew, and that’s becoming a hard thing to do,” he said.

Sunday’s rally reaffirmed the beliefs of many.

“They simply reassured me that the Republican Party’s coming on strong,” said Rita Behr of Grass Valley.

Bear River senior Chris Stafford, 17, who attended as part of his government class, wasn’t so sure.

Of Bedwell, Stafford said: “He kind of sounds like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

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