OTTAWA — The Putnam County Republican Central Committee recently received the Robert T. Bennett GOP County Party of the Year Award for 2018 from the Ohio Republican Party for its contributions to the party.
Tony Schroeder, Putnam County GOP chair, accepted the award on behalf of the county party during a state dinner Sept. 21 at the Columbus Convention Center. It was presented by Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, a Findlay native. The award was one of three presented, with the other awards including Young Republican of the Year and Female Republican Chapter of the Year.
Schroeder said he was surprised when he was presented the award and did not know prior to the event the county would receive the recognition.
This is the first time Putnam County has received the award, Schroeder said. In 2018, Putnam County had the highest percentage of votes of any county for Gov. Mike Dewine, Attorney General Dave Yost and Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Putnam County received the second-highest vote totals for Auditor Keith Faber and Treasurer Robert Sprague.
“We are thrilled to receive this award and have put in a ton of hard work in 2018, both in terms of building the party and our get-out-to-vote effort, and it paid off,” Schroeder said.
The award Putnam County received recognizes the strength of the county party and its voting turnout results.
“We turned out so many of our own Republican voters in an off-election year last year,” Schroeder said.
He spoke about the importance of the GOP party in the county and said it is nice to be a Republican because there are so many in the county. He said they are motivated voters who turn out and vote. The county set the voter turnout record in 2016 in the state with 81.5% of voters who voted. There are currently 23,300 registered voters in Putnam County.
“Our success to our party is entirely due to our voters in Putnam County. We help to organize, encourage them and turn out and vote,” Schroeder said.
He said the party is growing in terms of membership and activities and has an aggressive social media presence with 1,220 followers on its Facebook page, Putnam County Ohio Republican Party. The party also will have a YouTube page and is beginning a new initiative called Putnam County GOP TV, which will launch this week on the county’s YouTube page, Putnam County Republican Party.
“The idea is to present more information about the party in a longer form. This will give us three to six minutes to post information about activities,” Schroeder said.
The Putnam County Republican Central Committee has 33 members. Executive committee members are Tom Giesken, vice chair; Tom Liebrecht, treasurer and former chairman; and Adam Cupp, secretary.
The party’s Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner was held March 19 this year, where a record was set with 425 people attending. The two main speakers were U.S. Reps. Bob Latta and Jim Jordan. The party expects to break that attendance record next year, as it is a presidential election year.
An upcoming event the Putnam County GOP party has planned is at 6 p.m. Oct. 15 when Dr. Linda Tarver, former president of the National Federation of Republican Women, will speak at Red Pig Inn. The event is sold out.
Schroeder encouraged voters to turn out on Nov. 5 county elections for Pandora-Gilboa school board, Ottawa and Ottoville Village Council, and Jackson, Monroe and Monterey township trustee seats.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.