By VIC SPROUSE

CHARLESTON -- Its always great to see people jumping in to try to change the direction of the state and helping the Republican party.

A new club has started, and it's exciting to see.

I recently had the honor of traveling to Romney (yes, you can't really get there from Charleston, but if you DO, it's probably the most stunningly beautiful drive you will ever make, a truly picture perfect West Virginia). A new Republican club there -- the Potomac Highlands Republican Club, made up of five counties -- had a large, successful dinner.

They are off and running - good luck to them!

On Nov. 5, activists announced the formation of the West Virginia Republican Club. The club members pledged to fight for Republican gains in all three branches of state government. The organization also announced its leadership team.

Lisa Peana of Ceredo was elected Club President. Peana, a real estate agent, believes the new club will play a critical role in the 2008 elections.

"With the state party's debt situation curtailing the number of paid staff, we intend to support the State Republican party by providing the West Virginia State Republican Chairman a volunteer army that can help win elections," Peana said. "We need fellow West Virginians who understand what seventy-four years of single party rule has meant for our state to stand up and take action, whether that means donating your time, your money, or even running for office."

Peana pledged to recruit as many candidates for office as possible to give voters a choice in the 2008 General Election.

Charles Bolen, former State Chairman of the West Virginia Federation of Young Republicans, was elected club Vice-President. Bolen, a systems engineer in Charleston, was also previously Research Director of the West Virginia Republican Party.

In addition to announcing its formation, the club announced its goals for 2008.

The goals included: winning the Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Larry Starcher, winning the Attorney General's seat currently held by Darrell McGraw, retaining the Secretary of State's office currently held by the retiring Betty Ireland, winning increasing Republican seats in the West Virginia Legislature, and supporting the efforts of state Republican Chairman Doug McKinney to retire the State Party's debt currently reported in excess of $100,000.

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