July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

County Republican Party names first female chair

Medina Municipal Court Clerk Nancy Abbott is the new chairwoman of the Medina County Republican Party.

Abbott was elected by a unanimous vote at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting.

Nancy Abbott

Kevin Dunn

“Right now, I’m surprised and I’m excited about the future of our party,” Abbott said. “I have big shoes to fill, because Kevin Dunn did a wonderful job as our chair, and I hope I’m up to the task of leading our party.”

Dunn resigned as chairman so he could seek appointment to the seat formerly held by Juvenile/Probate Judge John J. Lohn, who stepped down for health reasons. Gov. John Kasich last month named Dunn as Lohn’s replacement.

Dunn applauded Abbott’s election Thursday.

“I think it’s great. Nancy will do a super job,” he said.

“She’s full of energy, she knows how to motivate people and she’s been active on a number of campaigns, including her own, and so she’ll do a great job as leader in that capacity. We have a lot of motivated people in the party, it’s just about keeping that energy up and Nancy will be great for that.”

Vice Chairwoman Sharon Ray said Abbott was selected for her leadership style, qualifications and experience.

Abbott served as a Hinckley Township trustee from 1982 to 1985, Medina County recorder from 1997 to 2006 and has been municipal court clerk since then. She also is the sitting secretary of the county’s Republican Party Central Committee and leads Recharge Medina County, a group of young Republicans.

She is a graduate of the State University of New York, College at Potsdam and the University of Akron.

Abbott has been active in several organizations, including the Medina Township Trustees and Clerks Association, Operation Homes, and Friends of the Hinckley Library. She is on the board of United Way of Medina County and chairs the Young Children Priority One Committee for the Medina Kiwanis Club.

“We’re so excited, because this is our first female chair,” Ray said. “I am honored to serve as vice chair under such an accomplished woman. The fact that it was a unanimous vote and there were no other candidates is a real testament to Nancy’s leadership ability.”

Her election also was lauded by the local tea party group, Medina County Friends and Neighbors. In a Thursday news release, MCFAN co-founder Jim Woods said: “We have always viewed Nancy Abbott as being a tea-party friendly member of the local Republican Party.”

He added: “She will run a party organization where every rank-and-file Republican will feel welcome, and proud to be part of it.”

Abbott said her immediate priority is to establish a strong working relationship with local Republican candidates and help them get elected.

“The closer you are to the elected representatives, the better. The more you know them, the more you feel connected to the people who represent you,” she said.

She also said she plans to continue working with Recharge Medina County and teen Republican groups.

“They are the ones who are going to keep our Republican beliefs alive here in Medina County,” she said.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.