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McNeal was Republican of the Year

Smith Township’s Ron McNeal was named Whitley County’s Republican of the Year at October’s Lincoln Dinner. McNeal was presented the award by Matt Boyd, Whitley County Republican party chair, pictured in back.

Republican of the Year Ron McNeal poses for a photo with Whitley County GOP Chairman Matt Boyd after the Lincoln Dinner Monday evening.

COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Republican Party picked a Smith Township man as its Republican of the Year during the annual Lincoln Day dinner at the Eagle Glen Event Center in Columbia City in October. Ron McNeal has been working in elections since 1973.

“Ron is a servant leader,” said Boyd. McNeal is a familiar face to many at the Smith Township voting locations, as he has served as inspector of the polls for several years — a position that was previously held by three people. “The inspector didn’t have much to do, so we combined the three positions into one,” McNeal said.

That saves the county $320 every election, twice a year. McNeal said Debbie Beers, county clerk, has been a key proponent in saving the county money. McNeal will ensure that all of the machines are in working order and set up at both the Boy Scout Building and the Smith Township Fire Station before the election begins on Nov. 8.

“It helps because he knows the area and voters well,” said Jessica Hockemeyer, election supervisor. “He has been a dedicated poll worker for decades. I know that he cares about it.”

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