On the eve of the Republican National Convention, two Pettis County Party officials are set to become witnesses to history.
In what has been described by many as the most contentious primary season in memory, Pettis County Republican and Fourth Congressional District Republican chairwoman, Carla Young and Stanley Cox, President of the Pettis County Pachyderms will both be attending the Cleveland convention as delegates.
Cox, who has attended four previous conventions, is delegate and Young will be serving as an alternate in her second convention.
With 52 state delegates and 49 alternates the fact that Sedalia is sending two individuals to the convention is an unusual occurrence.
“I think we may be in for a show,” Young said. “More than 16 million citizens voted for Donald Trump and won the nomination hands down; there is nothing else to it.
“This has been an interesting period and I understand the feelings of some in the party, but I know that the Republican party will come together in Cleveland and mend fences,” she added. “It’s vitally important that we do that in order to take back the White House.”
Young characterized Trump as a smart man who she believes will do all he can to get the job done both to win the election and once in office.
“No one knows how to do everything but he seems to be very capable in getting the right person in the right places to accomplish the job,” Young said. “I think his (presumptive) vice presidential pick in Pence (Indiana Governor, Mike Pence) is a good choice because he will be able to help Trump maneuver in Congress.”
Young added that she, like many in the party, liked different aspects of many candidates who ran in the primary but now she was looking forward to learn more about Trump as a person.
“My first convention was always one of my bucket list items,” Young said. “There is a great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes and it certainly isn’t all the spectacle of what is seen on television and it’s important to see the process all the way through to get a better understanding of how it works.
“One of the things that was fascinating about the last convention was the opportunity to know the person behind the politician,” she added. “I want to know more about the man who will lead the Party and the conventions provide a way to do that.”
Young said that Trump is expected to speak on multiple days during the convention, as well as his adult children and wife Melania Trump.
“Paul Ryan will speak as will others in the party and I think it is vitally important for all the members of the party, even those who ran against him to be in Cleveland to offer support and for the good of the party,” Young said. “In all my years in politics I have never seen this many people, especially on a local level this energized about an election.
“I have been receiving phone calls every day from people asking questions about what they can do to help with the campaign and that is very encouraging to see,” Young commented. “What I am hoping is that all of us will be able to come together for the party.”
When asked if she was concerned about the rumored protests and demonstrations that may occur in Cleveland during the week Young commented that she really was not.
“Our country was built on freedom of speech and I firmly believe people have the right to differing opinions,” Young said. “But people need to be responsible in their actions.
“I’m not fearful at all for our safety because of the security measures that are in place for the delegates,” she added. “We have a job to do at the convention and the state delegates are together at all times.”
Young said that the Missouri delegation will be staying in Akron and traveling together by buses and will be escorted by armed federal marshals to and from the convention center.
“We may see some protesters along the route but I don’t think we’ll see anything in the hall itself,” Young said. “I know we will have some debate on the floor but our platform is solid and it isn’t expected to change that much.
There may still be some issues surrounding the release of delegates but that will be resolved by the rules committee,” she added. “We’re going to come out of this a united party and ready for November.”
Young mentioned a comment made while they were discussing her upcoming trip.
“My son said to me the other day, ‘You know mom, Donald Trump didn’t have to run for office, I mean why would he put himself through all of this he certainly didn’t need the aggravation,’” Young said. “He’s right; he (Trump) has been put through the fire and it’s a long way until the election in November, but as a party it’s time that we get behind him to take back the White House.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.