New Chairwoman Vows To Keep GOP United

Lancaster Intelligencer Journal

It hasn’t been a good year for Republicans.

With the results of the presidential election, the party is looking for new ideas — and Ann Womble hopes to lead the charge at the local level.

Womble is the new chairwoman of the Lancaster County Republican Committee.

Promising to work to keep the party united and winning elections, the Lancaster Township Area Republican Committee chairwoman was elected to the local party’s highest post Thursday night.

The 45-year-old ran unopposed for the slot as head of the committee.

Womble won over committee people because of her commitment to community service and work on numerous campaigns at the local and statewide levels, supporters said in interviews afterward.

“Ann is qualified by education, community leadership and experience,” said Boyd Sponaugle, a committeeman from Lancaster Township who nominated Womble from the floor. “I know she will passionately and diligently work for the Republican party.”

Womble was a delegate for Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention and county coordinator for Tom Smith’s U.S. Senate campaign.

At the community level, Womble is president of Dollars for Scholars of Lancaster County, an organization that provides interest-free loans for post-secondary education to deserving county residents.

Womble will serve a two-year term at the helm of the committee at a time when its voter registration efforts are being outpaced by Democrats.

At the meeting Thursday, Womble said Republicans need to connect with voters as a “cohesive organization.”

“We can talk about our ideas and mission in a new way, we can have a wide and active volunteer community throughout the county, we can find quality candidates, we can make a difference in our county,” she told the audience at the Farm and Home Center.

Womble outlined three things she wanted committee members to do — get involved in their community, take notice of potential party leaders and provide the organization with financial support.

In return, Womble promised to improve communication and education — “making sure there is a two-way street connecting with not only committee members but also the community.

“We need to make sure we’re getting out the base of our party and that we have a message in line with their concerns,” Womble said after the meeting.

Republicans interviewed following the vote, where the GOP met for its reorganizational meeting, said they believe in Womble’s vision.

“All of her suggestions are a step in the right direction,” said State Rep. Dave Hickernell, a West Donegal Republican.

In a separate vote, the 217 committee members at the meeting elected former State Rep. John Bear to vice chairman.

“We have a young man that has clearly distinguished himself in the time he has been serving the Republican Party here and his time in the state Legislature,” said Frank Fryburg, a Manheim Township committeeman.

Bear, 40, announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election. The six-year state representative from Lititz, is now working in Harrisburg as a professional consultant.

Bear said he’s excited about working at the local level.

“I really do believe the glass is half full, not half empty,” he said about the GOP’s status in the county. “We really have a great opportunity ahead of us, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

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