State GOP Convention kicks off downtown

GOP symbol

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For the first time in nearly a century, the state GOP Convention is being held outside of Indianapolis.  This weekend, about 2,000 delegates will pack the Grand Wayne Center to build the Republican party’s platform and elect officials for the November ballot.

Delegates started checking in at noon Friday.  We’ve heard some mixed reviews about the convention being held here this weekend.  Despite Thursday’s news of Fort Wayne being a “boring place to be,” most tell me they’re enjoying their time here.

“My personal preference would be to have it in Indianapolis.  Simply because I’m from the furthest county in Indiana,” Posey County Delegate Bill Gillenwater said.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” Bartholomew County Delegate Anne Montgomery said.

For the state republican party and the Summit city, this is history in the making.

“The local host committee has rolled out the red carpet to our 2,000 visitors who are going to be coming into the city,” State Republican Party Chairman Tim Berry said.

Sure, the new venue is exciting for some, but most are ready to get down business crafting the party’s stance on things like gay marriage.

“My personal opinion in marriage is between a man and a woman.  A civil union is between a man and a man, a woman and a woman or any alternative there may be,” Gillenwater said.

“I support traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” Montgomery said.

But, most aren’t sure how the majority will vote.

“It could honestly go either way.  Depends on who was chosen by the county and who ends up coming.”

State Republican Party Chairman and Fort Wayne native, Tim Berry, says they’ll also talk about expanding and improving the Healthy Indiana Plan, education, and care for our veterans.

“It’s going to be a great time for delegates to enjoy each other, but enjoy the party and get energized and excited about the fall election,” Berry said.

Saturday delegates will vote on who will be on the ballot come November.

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