GOP Victory Tour makes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2000

Wednesday stop in Troy


Staff Writer

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March 29, 2000 11 PM

The Alabama Republican Party’s Victory 2000 County Express Tour made a stop in Troy Wednesday morning.

Some candidates for state office, GOP Chairman Winton Blount and Executive Director Twinkle Andress visited and had breakfast with Pike County residents at Julia’s Restaurant before moving on to seven other stops in the same day.

"We want you to understand the dynamics of this (election year)," Blount said. "This is the year to move our base forward."

Since this will be a presidential election year, voter turnout is expected to be high, but the Republican Party wants to make sure those electors are marking ballots for Republican candidates.

"This really is the courthouse to the White House," Blount said of Election 2000.

Blount is expecting George W. Bush to do well in Alabama with voters no matter their race or gender.

"He does well with women, not as well as Clinton, but he does well with women," Blount said of Bush getting the female vote.

"It’s going to be a good year."

Andress, whose parents went to Troy State University, was right at home in Pike County when she brought the motto of the party ­ "How can we serve you?" ­ to local voters.

She said the Victory 2000 Program will include helping candidates do those things they don’t have the time or resources to do themselves.

One of those things, is buying voter files from each of the state’s counties in order to poll citizens and determine who those "swing voters" are.

"Alabama’s a conservative state. The Alabama Republican Party is going to get our Republican voters to the polls," Andress said, adding they want those non-party people to also cast ballots for GOP candidates.

"Turnout is very important," Andress said.

One of the party’s big projects this year is insuring ballot security at the polls.

"We’ve got 10 boxes in Pike County that are a major problem," said Bill Goolsby of the Alabama Republican Party.

He said the party is going to have poll watchers at those boxes.

"We’ve got to secure the ballots," Goolsby said.

Blount added the ballot issue is "a serious subject" and everything possible needs to be done to insure everyone has one chance and only one chance to vote.

After speaking on behalf of the party, the floor was opened to statewide candidates. Those stopping in Troy Wednesday were Judge John Crawley, who is seeking re-election to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and Civil Appeals candidates Tommy Bryan and Craig Pittman, both running for Place 1.

The GOPs kicked off the tour on March 22 in Lauderdale County. When the three-week tour is over, they will have visited each of the state’s 67 counties.

Blount said visiting all 67 counties is "to make ourselves more accessible to the people of Alabama and show support for the local county parties."

Candidates traveling with Blount and Andress have been those seeking seats on Alabama’s Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals and president of the Public Service Commission.