Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Campbell County GOP chief steps down




BY PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COLD SPRING — Sixteen months after being elected head of the divided Campbell County Republican Party, Chairwoman Ruth “Sam” Smith has resigned to make room for what she called “some new blood.”

        “I've done this for a year and a half, and I just can't see doing anymore than I've already done,” said Mrs. Smith, a Cold Spring resident.

        “I've had my turn, and we've had some good success” she said. “It was good to have a female in a position like this, but it's time for somebody new, some new blood that can get a fire going here.”

        Mrs. Smith plans to stay active in the party. She said no event or circumstance triggered her resignation, which was tendered last week. Rather, it was a matter of timing, she said.

        GOP leaders and activists are pondering how her successor will bring together a county party that has been divided in recent years by factions fueling parochialism between Republicans in Fort Thomas and those in Alexandria and the south end of the county.

        “I'm disappointed to hear Sam is leaving,” said Campbell County Coroner Dr. Mark Schweitzer of Fort Thomas, who was elected last year.

        “I know Sam really tried to extend (a hand) to all parts of the party and all parts of the county,” he said. “But given what's happened at times in the party, she did a great job.”

        Now, with the November elections over, is a good time to step down so the next chairman can begin preparing for the 2000 elections, Mrs. Smith said.

        News of her departure touched off speculation about who will take her place as chairman of the Campbell County Republican Executive Committee, the official name of the party's governing body.

        Among the names being mentioned are committee members Howard McEwen of Highland Heights, the vice chairman; Dave Malone of Fort Thomas; Hayes Robertson of Alexandria; and Barb Haas, a GOP campaign and fund-raising strategist from Fort Thomas who was recently appointed to the Campbell County Board of Elections.

        “Sam Smith should be thanked and commended for holding the fort down on the Campbell County Executive Committee,” said State GOP Vice Chairman Damon Thayer of Grant County.

        Campbell County is home to several prominent GOP office-holders, including U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Southgate; state lawmakers Katie Stine and Joe Fischer, each of Fort Thomas, and Jon David Reinhardt of Claryville; and Judge-executive Steve Pendery, also of Fort Thomas.

        “But this (executive) committee is not on par with its Republican brethren in Boone and Kenton counties, where Republicans have had more success winning and holding office,” Mr. Thayer said.

        “This is a committee that should do better, and that's no reflection on Sam, because it goes way back to before she was chairman,” Mr. Thayer said.

        Former committee Chairman Norb Gettys, a Fort Thomas lawyer, agreed, saying polarization within the party has cost the GOP some elections.

        “Those divisions have hurt the party by pulling resources, information and campaign money in too many directions,” said Mr. Gettys, who was chairman in the early to mid-1990s.

        “The only way to win elections and be successful is to present a united front, and that hasn't happened in the Campbell County Republican Party,” he said.

        Mr. Thayer said the time is ripe to involve some new people on the executive committee.

       



Museums' shopkeepers sell memories
Cop killer resigns as lawyer
Tracking a killer, 36 years later
Green glow more likely old satellite than meteor
Taft says school fund oversight is needed
Highlights of school funding battle
Reds surrender in Cinergy turf war
TriHealth to announce restructuring
Airman's death spurs changes
Chef Emeril really is live, at bookstore in Norwood
One explanation for falls: pride
'Reverse commute' buses workers from city to burbs
School district sued over car crash
Tristate driving slower
Baptists to oppose more Ky. gambling
Burlington pastor to lead Ky. Baptists
Pioneer in the Power of Herbs
Fitness 'no magic pill'
Authors: You really can be sick of work
Autumn is season for croup
GET TO IT
Uneven 'Chairs' fills hunger for challenging fare
'Zinzinnati' shows city's German roots
Archbishop out of hospital
Arts group seeks more city funds
Bridge work to begin soon
Builders argue against proposed Middletown fees
Butler Co. officials at odds over computer bid
- Campbell County GOP chief steps down
Citizens clamor for wider Ohio 73
Colerain may decide to try again for road levy
Former coach sentenced; agrees to repay soccer cash
Grants to pay for 10 homes, center
lives cut short recalled at vigil
Man to face grand jury on drug-trafficking charges
Moving time for old church
Neighbors protest plan to build new subdivision
Sister of dismemberment victim wants details heard
Surveying attitudes of students questioned
Talawanda suit testimony begins
TRISTATE DIGEST
Woman slain, autopsy shows