Oxford reacts to field office

By Jack Evans, News Editor

The Butler County Republican Party opened a Trump field office on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 123 West High Street in Oxford.

Packed with glossy blue and white yard signs, neatly-stacked literature and folded t-shirts, the office marks the latest attempt by a national campaign to win the hearts and minds of Miami students and Oxford residents before the Nov. 8 elections.

The opening has been met with both praise and condemnation from members of the local community.

“The response has been overwhelming so far,” said Scott Lepsky, Butler County Republican Party’s public relations coordinator. “In fact, the first week, they totally ran out of material.” Lepsky was quick to add that the office has restocked its campaign inventory.

Ms. Bertie Wespiser, the proprietor of Birdhouse Antiques for the last 43 years, which sits across from the new office on High Street, welcomes the Trump campaign. To her, this election is a crucial one.

“My life, my children’s lives, my grandchildren’s lives all depend the outcome,” said Wespiser.

So crucial is this election to her that Wespiser drove to the Butler County GOP headquarters in Bridgewater Falls to pick up “Trump-Pence” signs for her storefront before the Oxford field office ever moved in.

“They say it’s financial suicide,” said Wespiser, in reference to putting the signs in the store window. “But it’s kind of a hobby for me.”

Not everyone is happy with the Trump campaign coming to the Oxford area, however.

“We’re not excited about it all,” said sophomore Nick Froehlich, Miami College Democrats’ communications director. “Donald Trump and his candidacy represent bigotry, represent sexism, represent islamophobia, xenophobia in general. And so just to see these ideals manifest themselves not just in a candidate, but in an office down the street is a very sad sight to see.”

When asked why the BCRP chose the location for the field office, Lepsky said that the decision mainly came down to the Trump support already in the area.

“[There was] such an overwhelming response by voters county-wide who want to get involved, so we wanted make it as easy as possible for them to volunteer and get involved,” said Lepsky.

Another Oxford pull for the Republican campaign was the strong and longstanding support in Miami’s College Republicans’ club.

“They’re one of the hardest working groups out there and BCRP couldn’t be more grateful,” said Lepsky. “We have a long and wonderful relationship with Miami College Republicans.”

The College Democrats, too, are coupling with their counterpart national campaign to push voter registration before the Oct. 11 deadline.

“We have an organizer here from the Hillary campaign who attends our…meetings and is really spearheading the Democrats’ effort in getting students to vote and organizing students in that regard,” said Froehlich.

The Hillary campaign’s nearest office is at the Butler County Democratic Headquarters in Hamilton, Ohio.

The Miami College Republicans did not return The Miami Student’s request for comment by the time of publication.