In time for the upcoming elections, Lincoln County Republicans have a new gathering spot.
Previously headquartered on South Academy Street in downtown Lincolnton, the local party recently decided to move its base to 417 E. Main St., located beside the offices of N.C. Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, and N.C. Senate candidate Dr. David Curtis.
“Dr. Curtis and I have welcomed the move beside of our office,” Saine told the Times-News. “It has given us both a great chance to hear from voters. We want to be accessible, and this has certainly helped in that regard.”
The move has also opened the party up to more traffic, something of particular importance while it tries to rally support leading up to November.
“One of the things our board really wanted to achieve was a location that gave us better visibility,” Lincoln County Republican Party Chairman Brad Putnam said. “Moving to the offices on Main Street seemed to fit that. We have really had a lot of people come through this year.”
“Plus, the move also helps give our N.C. House and Senate candidates greater interaction with voters,” he added.
Saine already had office space in the building, while Curtis began sharing the facility with him in October, Putnam said.
Though the coming election played a role in the timing of the relocation, Putnam noted that the move will be a permanent one, adding that the increased amount of people stopping by the new headquarters has justified the decision.
“We knew that the excitement for the presidential race and for the governor’s race would play a huge role in getting people interested this year,” Putnam said. “We have given out over 800 Romney/Ryan signs. We have had a hard time keeping up with the demand.”
Putnam noted that he has seen increased interest in Republican candidates in this year’s races, “from the top of the ticket on down the ballot.”
“People now know that they can come in and find information on our judicial candidates and others,” he added. “It has also helped recruit volunteers. Our folks have made thousands of phone calls from the new location.”
Saine said the decision to move to more visible headquarters has helped extend the party’s reach among Republicans from all parts of the county, and he commended the party leaders behind it.
Though both acknowledged that the increased traffic is very much a result of this year’s heated races, they believe the new space will continue to have a positive impact on the level of interest being seen.
“While we certainly loved our old headquarters, we feel like this move has served us well so far,” Putnam said.
The headquarters is staffed most days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by volunteers and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Saine said the space of their former headquarters, owned by Fred Jarrett, is likely being renovated for lease.