It’s just getting started, folks: The Lima area’s first taste of Campaign 2016.
The rooster crowed three times over the weekend to remind us of what’s ahead.
Shortly after 9 o’clock in the morning Friday, the phone rang.
The woman identified herself as Laura Zapata, the press secretary for the Hillary For America, Ohio campaign. She wanted to invite The Lima News to take part in an 11 a.m. conference call where the Democrats were going to give their reaction to Michael Pence’s speech in Lima.
We reminded her the speech by the Republican vice presidential candidate wouldn’t take place for another eight hours. After some nervous laughter, she modified her message: “We just want to warn people about Donald Trump’s disastrous economic proposals,” she said.
Gotcha. It was a pre-reaction to a speech that had yet to take place.
Then later that night we heard from Erin Dunson, the Lima woman who crashed the Pence rally and temporarily interrupted his speech by shouting, “Lima trumps hate.”
She told us she did so because of the “anger, the ignorance and hatred” she believes the Trump campaign is spewing. In other words, what she did was OK because it was being done with love and respect.
And then there was the email we received Saturday from Willow Lopez, a 20-year-old Elida woman.
“I am writing to you to share what I watched yesterday,” she began, noting it happened when she and her mother went to a local restaurant around 3 p.m. Friday.
“As soon as we walked in the door we saw two white men in suits. One of the waiters (a Hispanic man) asked the men if they were here for the event. They responded with yes. The waiter then asked who the event was for and one of them rudely responded with, ‘It’s on the sign.’”
Lopez and her mother were furious with the condescending tone the man took with the waiter. They later had a conversation with the waiter, who would not comment about the rude treatment he received. Instead, he reminded the women how important it was for people to vote, regardless of what candidate they support. He urged them to spread that message.
“So that is what I am doing,” Lopez wrote. “This election is important. … It is time that we pay attention to the policies of both candidates. This is the future of our great country, not a reality show. Listen, do research, and please, get out and vote!”
Now that’s a great message to remember.
If history is any indicator, Lima’s first taste of Campaign 2016 will likely be followed with more visits from each campaign. Just look back at the 2008 election, the last time a sitting president was leaving office.
We saw Republican presidential candidate John McCain hold a town hall meeting at the Civic Center. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, former vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp and Republican Minority Leader John Boehner stump for McCain in Lima days before the election.
Less than a month after McCain’s visit, Barack Obama was heading to Toledo and made a surprise visit to Lima where he worshipped at St. Luke Lutheran Church. Word spread quickly of his presence and a crowd in the hundreds greeted his exit. Vice President Joe Biden also held a rally for Obama at the high school in the month’s leading up to the General Election. During the primary, Bill Clinton was here to campaign for Hillary.
It’s likely to get wild in bean town.
ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden goes to the birds.
Rose: To Mike Downing, of the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Pandora. He and his team nursed back to health an American Kestrel, a rare falcon for this area. The injured bird was found and brought to him by Amy Riesenberg and John Bayer of Bath Township.
Rose: To the Lima area’s new champions: Shelby Warner (Lima Area Women’s Match Play golf tournament), Jerome Moenter and John Kidd (Lima Area Tennis Association men’s doubles champions), and Kaylee Davis and Andrea Arango (LATA women’s doubles champions).
Rose: To Chassidy Oatman, of Columbus Grove, who finished sixth in the Soap Box Derby in Akron.
Thorn: To Kimberly Hall, the operations coordinator of Shawnee schools, who was served a search warrant in connection with $40,445 missing from the Shawnee Baseball Booster Association, in which she was treasurer.
Thorn: John A. Wachauf, 59, a former Lima schools teacher, is sentenced to six years in prison for soliciting children for sex.
PARTING SHOT: We don’t approve of political jokes … we’ve seen too many of them get elected.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.