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Published: Sunday, 1/21/2001

Swearing-in energizes local GOP


Republican candidates, campaigners, and their friends gathered yesterday at The Docks to celebrate the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

“Even though we can't be in Washington, we're enjoying the camaraderie,” said Dee Talmage, vice chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party's central committee.

About 60 people gathered at Hosters, focusing most intently on President Bush's inaugural speech.

“I think what we heard was what Republicans, conservatives, Democrats, and liberals have been looking for for a long period of time: Somebody who will work to bring us together on common causes,” said Maggie Thurber, clerk of the Toledo Municipal Court, who used the event as a fund-raiser.

Mr. Bush's election as the country's chief executive officer could have a trickle down effect, Ms. Thurber said.

“I think you'll see the Republican Party energized by this,” she said. “It's brought together a lot of people, who might not have come together, because of his candidacy. It's brought Republicans, it's brought conservatives, it's brought independents together to say we want to have people with good skills and good character in office.”

Mr. Bush's two visits to Toledo during the campaign helped renew local interest in politics, Ms. Talmage said.

“People are really excited to get involved. We feel this is really going to pick up the interest and help us get more of the grass roots Republicans motivated,” she said.

Toledo attorney Dave O'Brien, a volunteer who worked on Mr. Bush's Monroe County campaign, said watching and listening to Mr. Bush take office yesterday made all the hours of working the phone banks and posting signs worthwhile.

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