2008-09-03 / Front Page

Local Republican party chairs react to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's selection as V.P.

Voters need to decide by November's general election
ROBERT WILCOX Reporter

In November's presidential elections Willacy and Kenedy County voters will need to choose between two distinguished Democratic attorneys turned career politicians or a Republican decorated prisoner of war and career politician and a first-term maverick governor, for president and vice president.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's pick of fellow Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice-presidential running mate did not surprise many Democrats.

Obama was quoted by CNN as saying, "For months, I've searched for a leader to finish this journey alongside me and join me in making Washington work for the American people."

However, U.S. Sen. John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate surprised most everyone.

McCain was quoted by CNN as saying, "She's got the grit, integrity, good sense and fierce devotion to the common good that is exactly what we need in Washington today."

The Chronicle/News solicited local feedback on McCain's choice of Gov. Palin, who has been under recent attack for several family revelations.

Included in the attacks have been; her 17-year-old daughters' pregnancy, her husband's twenty-plus year old DUI conviction, and her fishing with- out a license citation.

Willacy County Republican Party Chair and businesswoman Bonnie Brown weighed in on the controversy surrounding Gov. Palin as a vice-presidential choice.

"As Alaska's current governor for the past year-and-a-half, Sarah Palin is, first and foremost, a strong conservative," Brown said. "At age 44, she is the mother of five and is strongly against abortion, choosing herself to go through with a recent pregnancy in which she knew her baby was a Down's Syndrome baby."

"She is also a Christian, believing that creationism should be taught in public schools," Brown added. "Palin also believes, like T. Boone Pickens, that we should drill for oil on our own soil in order to reduce dependency on foreign oil."

"Like Barack Obama, Sarah Palin has very little 'big-government' experience; but she's known as someone who stands her ground and fights for what is right," Brown said. "She hunts and fishes and is a strong advocate for protecting the environment."

Kenedy County Republican Chair and teacher Lorraine Burns also weighed in on the controversy surrounding Gov. Palin.

"I was initially surprised that she was chosen, but she's really a great choice because of her conservative values, her pro-life stance, her advocating less government, and her lowering of taxes," Burns said. "She has a proven record in Alaska as a governor and mayor. She is able to put her family first while being governor."

On the controversial issues surrounding Palin, Burns said, "She's not trying to hide any of her family's skeletons. In fact she's bring them all out into the open."

"She's a great choice by McCain to unify the conservative side of the Republican Party, Burns added. "She's taken on the big oil companies in Alaska and brought them into compliance."

Burns closed by saying, "She has more experience running a government than either Obama or Biden."

Brown summed it up by saying, "Although I was very surprised that McCain chose Palin as his running mate, I believe that she is a breath of fresh air; and I hope those who have any question about her will do a little research before making up their minds against the possibility of having Sarah as our first female vice president."

A career and family recap of the Democratic and Republican candidates is on page 7 of the week's Chronicle/News.

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