Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Conservatives from Irving gathered at Mayor Beth Van Duyne’s house on Dec. 10 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Irving Republican Women’s Club.
Chartered in 1962, the club is a political action committee that works to actively support conservative candidates and encourage Republican women to run for office.
Such was the case with Van Duyne, the City’s first female mayor and former Republican Women’s Club president.
“I want to thank this group, because you also recognize the local level,” Van Duyne said. “We don’t run necessarily as Republican and Democrat at that level, but this group definitely gets involved in all of our local politics and not just at campaign time. I’m looking around, and I see women who are a staple at our council meetings and who help to set us straight when we need it.”
The 50th anniversary celebration was a chance for the club to honor past presidents and to commemorate past achievements.
“You all have played a vital role in advancing Republican goals and this club has been instrumental in electing local, county and state leaders,” said Annette Ratliff, district administrative director for Sen. John Carona.
“It’s truly fitting that this club be recognized for its leadership and many outstanding achievements,” Ratliff said, after reading a proclamation from the Senator’s office. “What you do is immeasurable, so thank you.”
Congressman Kenny Marchant also attended the dinner and meeting, presenting the club with a certificate of congressional recognition.
“Thank you for your years of service and commitment to conservative principles,” Marchant said. “The first piece of political advice I got about Irving was you better get to know the IrvingRepublican Women’s club,” he added, as attendees applauded.
Also during the 50th anniversary event, new officers were sworn in for next year.
Officers for 2013 include president Elena Blake; vice presidents Joyce Howard, who oversees finance; Barbara Hull, programs; Norma Gonzales, records; Lucia Rottenberg, membership; Heather Stroup, communications; Marcella Porter and Pam Grimes, campaign activities and education; Linda Lee, historian and photographer; Doris Booth, webmaster.
“We’ve got to really grow because in 2014 we have to take back the Senate,” Blake, club president, said. “We work to get new council people, but we also do the same for school board members and in May we’ve got some voting to do.
“We’re going to have to get out and hit the road, and this is a good team we have in place for 2013,” she said.
The club meets the second Monday of each month at IHOP, 900 Market, Irving TX. Visitors are welcome. For more information call 972-255-7727.