GOP opens Steamboat office |

GOP opens Steamboat office

Republican party launches McCain campaign building in town

Zach Fridell

Volunteers Carol O'Hare and Kelly Wilson hang flags and McCain-Palin signs in the newly opened McCain campaign office located at 401 Lincoln Avenue.

— Beginning today, local supporters of Republican presidential nominee John McCain no longer will need to travel to Grand Junction or Eagle County to pick up campaign stickers and yard signs.

The Colorado Republican Party is funding a new campaign office on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs, staffed by local volunteers, to dispense campaign material to supporters in Routt County.

The office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until the Nov. 4 election.

Called a “Victory 2008” office, the space also will hold campaign materials for other Republican candidates running for office in Colorado.

Rick Akin, one of the organizers, said U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer is the only other politician with material at the office so far, but more materials are expected soon.

Akin said the office was borne out of necessity.

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“I was being inundated with calls asking, ‘Where can I get bumper stickers and yard signs?'” he said.

There was no local office that kept the materials in stock, and supporters often had to buy materials online that they otherwise would have received for free, he said.

“It’s kind of funny, in recent years, if you wanted bumper stickers or yard signs, it was no problem to get them,” he said. “What’s happened the last several election cycles, especially in state and nationwide races, is that they want to spend the money on TV, and they do not emphasize that material.”

The office is located at 401 Lincoln Ave. The entrance is on Fourth Street on the side of the building.

Volunteer Carol O’Hare was setting up and decorating the campaign office Monday with fellow volunteer Kelly Wilson. O’Hare said the office also creates a local base for Republican campaign operations in Steamboat Springs.

“We really felt there needed to be a presence here for McCain and (vice presidential nominee Sarah) Palin,” she said.

O’Hare said the office still is looking for volunteers to hand out materials, walk door to door and make calls for the campaign.

Akin said this was the first time in his memory that a national Republican campaign has opened an office in Steamboat.

Democrats created a campaign office for presidential nominee Barack Obama in late August.

Two recent polls show Obama with a 6-point lead against McCain in Colorado.

The Insider Advantage/Poll Position survey, from Oct. 5, and a Fox News/Rasmussen survey, from Oct. 6, show Obama receiving support from 51 percent of Colorado’s likely voters, compared to 45 percent supporting McCain.

Despite the numbers, O’Hare said she was going to continue working until the end.

“Elections can change on a dime,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great race right to the end.”

Routt County voted for Republican George W. Bush against Democratic challenger Al Gore by 46 percent to 44 percent in 2000.

In 2004, Routt County voters chose Democrat John Kerry against Bush by 54 percent to 44 percent.

For more information on the new Steamboat office, call O’Hare at 846-8937.

– To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail

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