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Retiree opens eastern GOP headquarters to rally supporters


ROME TOWNSHIP — It’s a long drive from Rome to Ironton. Frequent travelers know the pitfalls of getting behind a school bus or a slow truck traveling the two-lane State Route 7 from Rome through the upper end of Chesapeake to get to U.S. 52.

With that in mind, for the first time in many years the Rome Township community now has its own GOP headquarters for the 2012 presidential election.

Lee Lankton, a Rome Township resident, saw a need and decided to do something about it. This “unofficial” GOP headquarters is located on County Road 107 next to Hamilton Automotive and across the road from Fairland Middle School.

Lankton, retired and anxious to see a change in national leadership, said he was determined to get local folks out to vote. Lankton said he is encouraged by the fact that Ohio is a bellwether state, and this little section of the Ohio may determine who will be the next president of the United States.

So the man rented a vacant used car lot, painted and spruced up the place adding a large banner across the top “God Bless America, Vote Republican.”

Lankton has gathered yard signs, banners and placards from national and local politicians to hand out to people who wish to vote Republican. He said anyone is welcome to stop by and discuss their opinions of the candidates or the issues facing voters.

On Saturday, Lankton will participate in the GOP’s Buckeye Blitz. This statewide “get out the vote” effort will be celebrated locally by serving free hot dogs, chips and drinks from noon to 2 p.m.

A “Sign Wave for Romney” will begin at 2 p.m. alongside the road in front of the GOP headquarters with volunteers stretching down to the Fairgrounds intersection with County Roads 411 and 107 at Foodfair.

Volunteers are urged to dress up in costumes for an after-party.