GOP, Dems weigh in on scheduled Santorum visit to Butler County

Santorum, a former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania and former presidential candidate, is set to speak in West Chester Twp. in March at the “Religious Liberty” rally.

“Rick Santorum’s possible visit to discuss religious liberty in West Chester, coupled with the evident shifting views by other possible Republican candidates on social issues, helps to illustrate why the national Republican Party has struggled to reach out to mainstream voters in national elections,” said Jocelyn Bucaro, Butler County Democratic Party’s executive chairwoman.

Bucaro said evangelical Christian Republicans “are required to hold strict lines on social issues in primary elections” though their views often differ with most voters. She said a recent Public Religion Research Institute study illustrates “how out of step” Santorum and other religious conservatives are with most Americans and Ohioans.

Butler County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall said Santorum is “a strong conservative” and is happy to welcome a potential presidential candidate to Southwest Ohio.

“The Butler County GOP welcomes all good and faithful Republicans to Butler County and appreciates Santorum’s continued interest in fighting for conservative causes,” he said.

Santorum was invited by Imago Dei Christian Fellowship’s founder and senior pastor, the Rev. Jim Crabb, to speak at the rally designed, as he said, to combat the erosion of religious rights across America.

Crabb told the Journal-News that “Our foundational principles are under attack. It’s time to push back.”

Santorum reportedly has been weighing a second bid for the presidency, but has not yet officially launched an exploratory committee or a campaign.

Local SOS office hours

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s regional liaisons will be coming to Butler County next month.

From 3 to 5 p.m. March 18, a representative from Husted’s office will be at the Fairfield Lane Library, 1485 Corydale Road (which is in the city’s Village Green area).

The purpose of the open office hours is to allow residents an opportunity to learn more about the Secretary of State office in an informal and accessible setting. Representatives for Husted will be in 33 counties around Ohio in March, including Butler County.

At the meeting, voter registration forms and election information will be available, and representatives can answer questions and distribute materials about other functions of the Secretary of State’s office, including the business services division and initiatives like the Ohio Business Profile and Military Ready-to-Vote program.

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