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Local campaign steering committee announced
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The Newton County campaign steering committee for John McCain's bid to be the 44th U.S. president has been announced. At its head are many familiar names in local Republican circles.

Frank Turner Jr. will serve as the county's campaign chair for McCain, the presumptive Republican Party nominee.

"We are ready to take Sen. McCain's message of reform, prosperity and security to the voters of Newton County," Turner said in release.

Campaign headquarters have been opened at 1108 Conyers Street in Covington. Supporters can go there to obtain free yard signs and other campaign materials.

The remaining campaign steering committee members are State Sen. John Douglas, State Rep. Doug Holt, Bob Burchfield, Faye Ewing, Gil Gainer, Julius Hayes, Linda MacFarland, Clay Newman, Judy Yeager Newman, Jared Rutberg, Scott Willis and Layla Hinton Zon.

Turner said the campaign's immediate plans are to enlist volunteers for get-out-the-vote activities that will take place in October.

"Initially we're very just going to have a very visible presence at events around the county," Turner said of the campaign's plans to increase its volunteer database.

The headquarters might eventually be used for the campaign to reelect Sen. Saxby Chambliss and other Republican candidates, but for now Turner said it will just be used by the McCain campaign.

Newton County has voted for Republican candidates in the last several presidential elections.

"Our challenge is to make sure that remains the case in 2008," Turner said. "Clearly we have our challenges. [Presumptive Democratic nominee] Barack Obama is an extremely popular candidate and has resonated nationwide and certainly in Newton County."

Those interested in volunteering or in obtaining campaign materials should call the local headquarters at (770) 786-9115.