Area Republican ready for convention
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
OLD SNOWMASS ” When Old Snowmass resident Freida Wallison attends the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in September, it will be much different than the GOP gathering she attended 12 years ago.
That’s because this time around, Wallison will be a Republican delegate, meaning she’ll cast one of Colorado’s 43 votes. As with many delegates, Wallison has put in a lot of years working on behalf of local candidates.
“I have been a member of the Pitkin County Republicans for as long as I can remember,” she said. “So I am very interested in politics and I support the Republican Party. I believe that it is important to participate if you are a citizen.”
Wallison grew up in a Republican household and began participating in politics around the time she was old enough to vote.
“My parents were Republican, but not very involved,” she said. “At the age of 65 my mother ran for the first time for the state assembly in New York. She was not elected because she lived in a very Democratic district. But she was pretty involved then.”
As Wallison sat in her wood paneled ranch-style home, snug among the mountains of Old Snowmass, she described her and her husband’s previous efforts to elect local and national Republicans, saying her biggest contributions come from personal discussions with friends and acquaintances.
Wallison attended the 1996 Republican convention in San Diego, where Bob Dole earned the nomination, and she said she is eager to play an active role in this year’s convention.
“I am looking forward to meeting a lot of the Republicans around the country,” she said. “I have already met several of the people from Colorado and they were interesting.
“I am looking forward to hearing what is said at the convention by the speakers but I can’t say that there will be any big surprises in terms of the nominee.”
Wallison has been a longtime supporter of John McCain, even last year when it looked unlikely that the Arizona senator would get the nomination.
“My husband and I were very actively involved in his campaign,” she said. “He was a surrogate for John McCain in the Iowa caucuses and then in the New Hampshire primary. We have continued to be McCain supporters, through the dark days of the campaign.”
Wallison believes that once people realize where McCain stands on the issues, they will be more likely to support him.
“I think a lot of people don’t know what his positions are,” Wallison said. “I certainly think many Republicans are taking a second look. There are people who have not supported him for the same reasons that I have strongly supported him.”
Wallison believes McCain has a chance winning the presidency in spite of the fact that he is trailing in nearly every poll.
“I think that it is much too soon to think that people are forming an opinion of who they will support,” she said.
Wallison said it’s important for McCain to campaign on policies that affect everyday Americans during the run of the campaign, rather than focus on personal attacks.
“There are very important issues to focus on,” she said. “The energy policy is clearly on everyone’s mind and where [the candidates] stand on that will be critical to the future of our economy.”
Wallison also believes that the candidates position’s on the Iraq war are important.
“John McCain has certainly not taken what is the popular side of that issue but things are shifting and his views are starting to look like the right ones,” said Wallison.
Wallison is looking forward to her role in the convention as an advocate for John McCain.
“I do intend to meet a lot of people from across the country,” she said. “And I am interested in promoting John McCain’s candidacy and I will do so with others.”
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