Foreman chosen to lead Blair GOP

Despite some recent division, the Blair County Republican Committee is moving forward, unified under its shared principles and commitment to getting Republicans elected in November, said newly elected chairman Jim Foreman.

The Blair County GOP Committee elected officers including Foreman during its organizational meeting on Monday.

“I was pleased and honored to be voted in as chairman,” Foreman said. “I congratulate the other officers elected tonight, and I look for ward to working with them and the entire committee as we unify in our commitment to elect Republicans in November,” he said.

Foreman, as well as Michael Haire, ran for the chair position. Foreman won in a 64-54 vote, with two abstentions, said recording secretary Samantha Paule.

Paule said 120 of 155 members were present for the meeting at the Bavarian Hall in Altoona.

Attempts to contact Haire for comment Monday evening were unsuccessful.

The meeting follows the May election in which former chairwoman Lois Kaneshiki lost in her re-election bid for the committee in a three-way race for two seats. Foreman and incumbent committee member Mike Routch won the precinct seats.

An attempt to keep Kaneshiki as chairwoman was made at a special meeting on Thursday, but a move to amend the bylaws to allow a noncommittee person to serve as chair failed to get the required 75 percent of the votes cast.

“I would also like to congratulate and acknowledged Lois for the hard work she has done for committee and Republican Party,” Foreman said.

Also on Monday, the committee elected vice chairs for the 79th and 80th legislative districts.

Jesse Ickes won the vice chair for the areas of Logan Township and Altoona that comprise the 79th District. Sharon Bream also ran for that vice chair position.

Chris Creek won the vice chair position for the 80th district. Mike Routch also ran for that position. Creek competed in the May primary election to represent the 80th district in the state House but lost that bid.

Paule won the position of recording secretary against Shelley Clinich. And the position of corresponding secretary went to Cheryl Rupp over Joel Seeley.

“The feeling during the meeting was positive and united,” Paule said.

Paule is also one of the new committee members, just under 100 in total, elected in the May primary. Those new members officially became part of the fold on Monday.

“We want a better election processes and to see the best candidates get elected,” Paule said. “It’s a good feeling going forward. It’s going to look good for November.”

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.