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Racine County Republican Party Office to Open Early This Year

Bill Folk, chairman of the Racine County Republican Party: “A lot of people are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with these elected officials. They are ready to publically say, ‘We support you.’

Members of the County Republican Party are ramping up for potential recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine).

To support those candidates, members of the state Republican Party are opening the office earlier in the year than usual. The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday starting this month; it usually opens in late summer. The office will be run by volunteers and a few paid staff. 

“Because of the potential for three recall elections, it will be important for us to get information out there,” said Bill Folk, chairman of the Racine County Republican Party. “We are receiving calls almost daily from people who want yard signs, make phone calls, and do door-to-door work.”

But the office won’t just be focused on the potential recall, Folk said.

They’ll also have candidates to support for the State Assembly, Presidential, Congress, U.S. Senate, County Treasurer, District Attorney, Register of Deeds, and the County Clerk races. A Presidential primary will also be held April 3, 2012. But unless the Presidential candidates come to town, not much activity will be coordinated at the County level.

“Typically we don’t cater to them (the presidential primary candidates) one way or another,” Folk said. “We may have individual Board members endorse them, but we won’t be endorsing them as a board.”

While the potential recall elections have moved up the timetable for local Republicans, this may blur the elections, Folk said.

“It’s going to be non-stop campaigning. It just prolongs the stress, but then most of us are used to it. Still, it’s going to prolong it,” Folk said. “This is not a normal cycle, we’re really used to doing this every four years.”

While the County office will help support the state level elections by passing out signs and bumper stickers, they’ll be funneling those who want to be involved in the pro-Walker, Kleefisch, and Wanggaard election campaigns to the Wisconsin State Republican website, www.scottwalker.org.

Folk is getting inundated with phone calls from people who want to show their support, he said.

“A lot of people are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with these elected officials,” Folk said. “They are ready to publically say, ‘We support you.’ But we’re in a little bit of wait and see mode. We are acknowledging that both campaigns may occur, so we are starting to get our infrastructure in place.”

Racine County is also expected to play a pivotal role in any potential recall elections, Folk said.

“Racine was pivotal when Walker and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson we’re running, over 56 percent of Racine County voted for them,” Folk said. “And with Wanggaard, he got 52 percent.”

The Racine County Republican Party will also be hosting a grand opening for their office from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 at the Victory Center, 6211 Durand Ave. Suite 203.

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