With only 24 hours to go before St. Johns County voters cast their final ballots, Historic City News learned that things are in full gear at the headquarters office of the Republican Party in St. Augustine.
Since moving to St. Johns County in 2005, Bob and Joan Veit have been active in politics — both have served on the Republican Executive Committee and again this election year, they are helping their party keep its headquarters open on San Marco Avenue in leased space that served as the Service Department of Bozard Ford.
Joking about the fact that during the 2008 Presidential election year, the Republican’s had their offices set up about a mile down the road at the location of the former Cadillac dealership, Bob Veit told Historic City News Editor Michael Gold, “Times are tough for Americans … we’ve had to go from Cadillac to Ford in just two years.”
Long time Republican Party supporter Ed DuPont initially helped staff and supervise the headquarters and the Veit’s say they are continuing what DuPont and others have built. Randy Brunson and Republican Club of Greater St. Augustine President, Gary Bruce, got the ball rolling by securing the space and moving in the desks, setting up telephones and computers, and making necessary repairs to the building; now owned by hotelier Kanti Patel.
According to Joan Veit in an interview with Historic City News today, one of the first things people are asking as they come through the door is for information on the constitutional amendments and how to vote on the judicial candidates — even though both ballot items are non-partisan.
Pat Greenfield, Secretary of the Republican Club of Greater St. Augustine, is also working as a volunteer in the office, said that the voters this year, “have really done their research.”
More than seventy-five volunteers, including members of the county’s Republican Clubs and the St. Johns County Young Republicans, have visited over 700 St. Johns County homes and called more than 11,000 Republican households to insure that Republicans vote this year.
Greenfield told us, “About half of the people I’ve talked to want to ask questions and understand the issues being decided — some of the others have been rude, vulgar and hung up the telephone.”
The candidates in local races have also been visible and participated at party headquarters, according to Veit. “We’ve had them here from state-wide races, districts, county and city,” Veit said. “Most of them have dropped off literature and supplies of bumper stickers or yard signs and we are happy to distribute them for the Republican candidates.”
Greenfield remembered one of those eleven thousand telephone calls to a man who asked her, “Which one of the crooks do I vote for to be Governor?”
Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News staff photographer