When I was asked by the Coos County Republican Women to speak at their monthly meeting tomorrow, I was happy to oblige, increasingly hearing how up for grabs the voters are in that part of the state. A strong showing in Coos County can win the 4th Congressional District. If not in the anti-Trump wave election we’ll face next year, it’s certainly a real possibility in 2020 with the right candidate.
Coos County has a remarkably organized women’s club. Check out their website. They’ve been in operation since 1965. Part of their success is no doubt explained by Anita Conn who became a member in 1972. When Conn became the chair of the Coos County Republican Party in 1979, the registration disadvantage they faced was three Democrats for every one Republican.
When she finally passed that position on to someone else 26 years later, Coos County had become the swing county it is today. Conn’s hard work and experience continues to inspire this ladies’ club which does much more than just meet on the third Saturday of every month to organize political volunteering. They also fund a local scholarship and run a community engagement program called Caring for America.
With Teri Grier as their current club president, the Coos County Republican Women are led with energy and vision. Grier is well aware of the statewide implications of their efforts. She nearly unseated Caddy McKeown from Oregon’s 9th House District last fall.
The Oregon coast is rural, but it doesn’t vote like rural Oregon. It takes a more sophisticated strategy to win over its more diverse array of residents. That’s what we’re going to talk about tomorrow morning at 10 am: strategy. In terms of winners and losers, there are some clear trends in Oregon politics emerging out of the 2017 legislative session. Join us in suite 155 at the Pony Village Mall for a lively discussion about how to capture more wins in the future.
Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of A Brief History of Political Cultural Change.