GOP OR BUST: Nevada County residents travel to Republican Convention |

GOP OR BUST: Nevada County residents travel to Republican Convention

AP PhotoRepublican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., waves to supporters on Sunday as he walks onto the stage at a pre-convention campaign unity rally in Missouri. Nevada County's Kim Pruett is one of the few who will attend the convention as a Congressional District 4 alternate delegate.

John McCain supporters from the region are putting their “country first” this week at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Among the 25,000-plus registered Republicans in Nevada County, Kim Pruett is one of the few who will attend the convention ” which takes place this week ” as a Congressional District 4 alternate delegate.

“To listen to the platform and be involved in the decision-making process is a really great opportunity,” Pruett said Friday. “I take it with great responsibility.”

Pruett has been actively involved in politics since her early 20s and has volunteered for past presidential campaigns like Bush-Cheney in 2004; this will be the stay-at-home mom’s first convention, she said.

“John McCain is a true American hero who has sacrificed a lot for our country and has put our country first,” Pruett said. “I think he’s shown the integrity, leadership and courage that we need right now.”

Pruett ” who also serves as chairwoman of the Nevada County John McCain presidential campaign and is a member of the Nevada County Republican Women Federated ” said she’s looking forward to speeches made by President George W. Bush, the First Lady and Mitt Romney, but is most eager to hear what newly-appointed vice-presidential running mate Sarah Palin has to say.

“She’s a true reformer in her state as governor,” Pruett said. “Unlike Obama, she has governed a state, and she has executive experience.”

Pruett isn’t alone in her support of Sen. McCain’s decision to select Palin. Nevada County District 5 Supervisor Ted Owens agrees with the choice, saying Palin’s political experience and personality will enrich the presidential bid.

“I think the decision was invigorating,” Owens said. “It demonstrates that Sen. McCain is going back to his maverick personality … and I find it energizing.”

Acknowledging the historical significance of Barack Obama’s presidential nomination, Owens said he also finds value in having a woman added to the ballot.

“I don’t know that we’ve seen such a broad-brushed group,” Owens said. “This is the election of a lifetime.”

Owens will work alongside Pruett and other Republican organizers in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe to rally supporters, set up voter registration booths and spread McCain’s “country first” message.

“Right now, we’re gathering volunteers and working on opening the Republican headquarters in Truckee,” Pruett said.

Since April, Pruett has logged in an average of six to seven hours a day in volunteer work for the McCain campaign, and said organizing in the rural Truckee-Tahoe area has been anything but a challenge.

“I think in a smaller community, it’s easier to reach people and people are more inclined to volunteer,” Pruett said. “It’s neat to see how people are getting involved in the political process.”

For Carla Embertson, vice president of the Truckee-Tahoe Republican Women Federated, encouraging the region’s residents to vote means more than boosting McCain’s tally.

“For me, the biggest goal in getting people involved is making sure people vote, but more importantly, making sure they vote educated on the issues and the candidates,” the third-generation Republican said.

After a successful voter registration effort at Truckee’s Cannibal Cruise, Embertson and her fellow Republican women will start handing out yard signs and rallying volunteer support after the four-day convention, she said.

“As a Republican, there are so many differences between Obama’s values, his inexperience and his liberalism that greatly contrasts with what we need in our lives and in our government,” Embertson said. “There’s no way you couldn’t get behind McCain and get involved.”

The Truckee-Tahoe Republican Women will host a McCain campaign meeting on Sept. 16 at the Blue Onion in Kings Beach. For more information or to volunteer, contact Carla Embertson at

Check out the Sierra Sun’s Aug. 23 coverage on local involvement in the Democratic Convention online at

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