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Chasing presidential dreams

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:47 AM

Ottawa County Republican Party Executive Director Faith Steketee said that her office is busier now than it has been in previous election cycles, and she thinks that voters are concerned about the direction in which the country is headed.

"I think there is a big difference between the two candidates," Steketee said.

The GOP group has also hosted those who are involved with the presidential election.

"We had Ann Romney in Ottawa County," Steketee said .

She said that with only 24 hours notice, more than 600 people showed up to support her appearance.

In addition to spreading the word about Mitt Romney, the GOP party also puts together a voter information booklet each election season to let voters of all parties know about the issues.

"I like to think we have a lot of well-educated voters here," she said.

There is also a contingency of people in Ottawa County who are supporting President Barack Obama.

Doug Zylstra of the Ottawa County Democrats said that the group recently conducted a voter registration drive.

“I think there’s a lot of focus on letting people know that we’re here for their candidate,” he said.

He noted that they’ve been spreading the word about all of the Democratic candidates, including Obama.

"I think we've been doing a very good job," Zylstra said. "A lot of it is making sure we get materials out to folks.”

Zylstra said that although Ottawa County is often considered a strongly Republican-leaning county, there has been plenty of support for Democratic candidates.

“In 2008, the president got (about) 40 percent of the vote in Ottawa County,” Zylstra said. “I think we will do more of the same, if not better.”

According to historic results from Ottawa County, in the 2008 election, just over 37 percent of voters voted for Obama, while about 61 percent voted for John McCain.

Zylstra also noted that U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow has spent a lot of time in Ottawa County campaigning for herself and for the president.

“The senator has done a good job of campaigning here and making stops,” Zylstra said. “That’s something we may not have seen eight years ago.”

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