LB Republicans Gather For Thursday’s Straw Poll Event • Long Beach Post

This Thursday, Long Beach’s leading Republican players in politics will gather in a rare sign of local unity to usher in their new “Back to Basics…Forward to Victory” approach to electoral success in 2008.

In an event hosted by the Long Beach Lincoln Club, and the Long Beach Area Republican Party, local Republican politicians, business leaders, and regular Republican voters will gather for a Long Beach Straw Poll Dinner.  Attendees will hear from Representatives of the Presidential Campaigns, listen to Republican leaders like Former Governor George Deukmejian and keynote speaker Don Knabe, and finally cast a straw poll ballot for their favorite GOP candidate.

The event will be held on Thursday, January 17th, at the Reef Restaurant in Long Beach, and begins at 6:00 p.m.

“Republicans have been divided for too long in this city, and it’s time we got back to the core beliefs that unified party members and led to electoral victory,” said Frank Colonna, former Vice-Mayor, 2006 Mayoral Candidate, and Chairman of the Long Beach Lincoln Club.

The “Back to Basics…Forward to Victory” campaign is billed as a “joint venture between the Long Beach Area Republican Party and the Long Beach Lincoln Club to reunify, redefine, and strengthen the Republican Party in Long Beach in order to elect Republican Candidates to Public Office.”

When asked how he thought this would play out for the 2008 elections, Colonna, a Rudy Giuliani supporter stated, “We are unique in Long Beach that what we do here often has a larger impact on the state and even the nation.  I believe that Republicans in Long Beach, organized and independent, will be able to lead others to greater victory.”

The event’s honorary committee includes 14 elected Republican officials past and present, including Colonna, Deukmejian, Knabe, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Councilman Gary DeLong, City Auditor Laura Doud, City Prosecutor Tom Reeves, School Boardmember Jon Meyer, LBCC Trustee Jeff Kellogg, Former Congressman Steve Kuykendall, Former Mayor Eunice Sato, Former Vice-Mayor Doug Drummond, and Former Councilmembers Jerry Shultz and Rob Webb.

“We expect great things to come from this fundraiser,” said Long Beach Area Republican Party Chairman Hilary Poochigian.  “We like to say that if you can’t come to the National Convention in Minneapolis this summer, come to our event…that’s the kind of atmosphere we are expecting on Thursday night.”

Presidential representative speakers will vary from volunteer spokespeople, to locals like Former Congressman Steve Kuykendall (speaking for John McCain), and George Romney (nephew of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Lakewood resident).

As things have shifted in Presidential politics over the last few weeks, and California’s importance has heightened, so have the representatives that have been sent to represent their campaigns.

“As we speak, I am waiting to get confirmation on whether Tom McClintock will down to speak for Fred Thompson,” added Poochigian.

Tickets are $90 and are still available at, or by calling (562) 424-1246.

(Full disclosure: The author is a member of the Long Beach Lincoln Club)

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