Diana Harton

Diana Harton

Drew County Republican Party Chairman Diana Harton is gearing up for a new election cycle with hopes of more Republican candidates on local ballots and more voters registering as Republicans. In 2012, there were at least 10 Republicans from Drew County on the ballot and nearly 200 more voters registering as Republicans.

While Arkansas does not require voters to declare a party, Drew County had 74 registered Republicans prior to the last election. That number increased to 271 following the Drew County Republican Party’s drive to register more Republicans. In comparison, there are 339 registered Democrats. More than 9,000 of the county’s registered voters do not to declare a party at all, according to Harton.

She said the drive to register more Republicans was an educational process. Many voters, who had always voted a straight Democratic ticket, didn’t realize they could vote for a Republican.

Harton’s work on behalf of the Republican party did not go unnoticed by state party officials who recently elected her president of the State Republican County Chairmen’s Association. As president of that association, she is a member of the executive board of the State Republican Party.

The Drew County Republican Party has become more active in recent years with 27 members on the Republican committee, according to Harton.

While the committee hasn’t met on a regular basis since the last election, it will resume monthly meetings in September. The committee will meet the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the conference center behind the Union Bank branch on U.S. 425 North. The meetings are open to the public.

“We’re going to have guest speakers come in every month,” Harton said.

In September, the guest speaker will be Ken Yang, a candidate for State Auditor.

“We’re going to try to have all of the Republican primary candidates come in throughout the year,” Harton said.

She said the county GOP is currently recruiting Republican candidates to run for office. For more information, call Harton at 723-5701