STEUBENVILLE - Gloria Posovich was an instant celebrity when she opened her cardboard sign that declared "Democrats for Romney and Ryan."
The Weirton woman joined approximately 30 Republicans standing in a steady rain Thursday afternoon to welcome the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan Commit to Mitt Early Vote Express Tour Bus as it parked on Court Alley.
"Yes, I support Romney and Ryan. I don't like Obama. I think he has told too many lies and he isn't good for the country," Posovich said.
She immediately was recognized by three Republican officials after they emerged from the campaign bus to address the party faithful.
"This is exactly the kind of effort we need to achieve victory in November," said U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, during a 45-minute rally in the rain.
"Ohio is leading the nation as far as phone calls being made and doors being knocked on. This administration's policies have failed. Gas prices have doubled since President Obama took office. Utility bills have risen dramatically. There are too many people today who are unemployed. Fourteen of 18 counties in the 6th Congressional District have the highest unemployment rates," said Johnson.
RAINY CAMPAIGN STOP — Donna Keagler, co-chair of the Bill Johnson Re-Election Committee, left, joined LeeAnn and U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, during a cold rain Thursday afternoon to encourage area voters to support Gov. Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan.
-- Dave Gossett
"We are working hard to keep Washington, D.C., in check so we can bring jobs back to Eastern Ohio," added Johnson.
He said he was not aware that President Bill Clinton was leading a rally in Wintersville Thursday afternoon in support of Obama.
"I have no idea of Bill Clinton's schedule. We were planning to come here as part of our campaign tour. We have seen a very solid reception today in Eastern Ohio," Johnson said.
Johnson also noted his own re-election campaign against Democrat Charlie Wilson. The St. Clairsville resident was defeated in the 2010 election by Johnson.
"Mr. Wilson has admitted he is lying about my voting record. He is not talking about his vote for the health care program that is a job killer," remarked Johnson.
"It is great to be in Ohio. This is a very important state in this election," noted U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, Wash.
"There are a number of important issues for women in this election. As a mom of two young children I sit down like other mothers at the table to balance a budget. The government has to do the same thing. And it has become harder with high gas prices and the rising health care premiums," related McMorris Rodgers.
"The leaders in Congress need to balance the federal budget to get America back to work for our economic future and our national security," noted McMorris Rodgers.
"Republicans won the vote in 2010 because women didn't like the direction the country was going. I encourage you today to remember every vote will count in this election," she concluded.
"We need to send a clear message this election. This president's administration is bad for our state and bad for our country. Before we came to Steubenville the bus parked at a small business in New Philadelphia. The business owner came out and thanked us for what we were doing today," said Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
The campaign bus started the day at 7:30 a.m. Thursday in Zanesville before making stops in Coshocton, Millersburg, New Philadelphia and, finally, Steubenville.
"This election is about the future of our country and the future of our kids and our grandchildren. I will be glad to stand in the rain any time I can help Ohioans. The rest of the country is looking to us to lead the way in this election," stated Taylor.
"I encourage all of you to walk over to the board of elections office and cast your vote or pick up an absentee ballot," urged Taylor.
"I am seeing energetic, excited and optimistic Ohioans. People understand the importance of this election and are optimistic we can elect the Romney-Ryan ticket and turn this country around. I am a firm believer that every part of this state matters. Some politicians only campaign in the larger cities, but I know the rural and suburban areas of the state also matter. That's why we are in Eastern Ohio today," Taylor said.
She also urged area residents and voters to attend a victory rally Saturday at the Valley View Campgrounds in Belmont.
"Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will be speaking at the rally and it will be a great and exciting day," noted Taylor.
The doors for the event will open at 10 a.m., and the program will start at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets can be obtained at the Steubenville Victory Center in the Fort Steuben Mall or at the campgrounds on National Road in Belmont.
(Gossett can be contacted at email@example.com.)