It’s another election year and the Yadkin County Republican Party is making some changes in order to get more educated voters into the polls.
The county’s Republican Party has been working to breathe new life into the organization and excite registered Republican voters this election season as well as encourage new voters to get out and cast their ballot.
Warner “Bodie” Wingler was elected the chairman of the county’s Republican Party last spring. Wingler says that he did not come from a political family and that many people didn’t even know he had political ambitions.
“I’ve always believed that you don’t have the right to complain if you don’t vote,” Wingler said. “I realized that I thought that the Republican Party seemed broken and so instead of complaining I asked people to support me and I got it and I’m trying to go through with it and make a difference”
Wingler said that he felt that the county’s party had grown stale in its approach and wanted to see if he could make a difference.
“The GOP used to be really prevalent,” Wingler said. “Any candidate that ran in the county and came to the GOP meetings had the endorsement of the GOP. We’re trying to get back to that so we can better educate the voters.”
In order to achieve this goal Wingler said that the party is turning more of its attention to the youth. The GOP currently has two younger party members serving as precinct chairs.
“That’s one thing that our opponents the Democrats do, they get the youth involved,” Wingler said.
Wingler is also working to get the members of the party out and visible in the community. One way he is achieving this is by putting a GOP float in the Yadkin County parades; something Wingler said has been working well for the party.
So far, the organization has been in the Yadkinville Christmas parade in 2011, the East Bend God and Country Celebration parade this year and the Yadkinville Fourth of July parade this year.
Wingler said that he is starting to see an increase in numbers at the GOP meetings, something he contributes to the upcoming election and a newfound interest in the Republican Party.
“It seems like the attendance of our GOP meetings has quadrupled,” Wingler said. “I was being told there were just a handful of people attending the meetings and now we’ll have 40 to 50 people on average.”
One of Wingler’s biggest pet peeves is hearing potential voters saying that they won’t vote because their vote doesn’t count.
“I’ve has so many people tell me that their vote doesn’t count because it’s all big politics, Wingler said. “Everybody’s vote counts. We’ve had elections in this county where three or four votes would have changed the outcome and I want everyone that’s a registered voter in this county to know that their vote counts.”
Wingler says that the Republican Party plans to set up a booth at the Harvest Festival this year where the organization will be selling food, pins and hats and also registering voters for the fall election. He also plans to host the first GOP rally in 15 years.
“I feel that of all the registered voters in Yadkin County, if we can just get them to the polls then they’ll vote the right way,” Wingler said. “I don’t think, I know they’re going to vote Republican. I think we outnumber the Democrats almost 2.8 to 1 and it’s a big difference.”
Wingler said that it’s important to him that anyone who is interested in the Republican Party knows that they are encouraged and welcomed to participate in meetings and get involved.
“[People] don’t have to sit and watch from the outside, or read newspaper articles or rely on second hand information,” Wingler said. “If you’re interested in the principles and everything the Republican Party stands for we want you to come out and be a part of it.”
Wingler said that his success as chairman and the success of the Yadkin County Republican Party will depend on the percentages on election day.
“The mark of our success will be the percentage of people that turn out to vote in the fall election,” Wingler said. “I hope it’s a record number.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.