Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Local GOP chief to lead anti-abortion group

Edmondson chosen for national party coalition

By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer

The chairwoman of the Denton County Republican Party has taken on the task of executive director for the Republican National Coalition for Life.

Dianne Edmondson succeeds Colleen Parro, who is retiring after 20 years. When Parro decided to retire, the coalition’s national chairwoman asked around for possible replacements and Edmondson’s name came up.

“I submitted my resume to [chairwoman] Phyllis Schlafly, and out of several who applied, she picked me, which was flattering, and I am delighted to be given this opportunity to serve,” Edmondson said.

Schlafly and Parro founded the organization in 1990.

The organization’s mission is to make sure the Republican national platform stays strongly opposed to abortion, and as new issues arrive, to make sure they are addressed from an anti-abortion perspective, Edmondson said.

“I think her experience in various positions in the Republican Party will be extremely helpful,” said Schlafly, who has known Edmondson for many years.

The organization began as a way to counter party members who wished to remove the pro-life plank from the party platform. GOP officials have sparred with such factions for years.

Schlafly said Edmondson’s activity in the GOP, her knowledge of how it operates and her stance on abortion give her comfort as Edmondson takes the organization’s reins.

One of Edmondson’s jobs will be to keep the Republican Party as the anti-abortion party — one of the primary differences, she said, between the Democratic and Republican parties.

This organization is the only one geared specifically to the GOP, Edmondson said.

“It’s the Republicans you can count on to promote and stand strong on the pro-life cause,” she said.

One of her tasks for the next presidential cycle will be to educate Republican delegates so that a strong anti-abortion delegation can insist the party strengthen that stance.

Edmondson was relieved — as were other local party members — to learn she would not have to give up her position in the county party.

“This position is one I can structure time around other commitments,” she said. “The two mesh very well, because it is working with Republicans and I do that well.”

Edmondson said the party faces a challenge in the next political cycle with a “pro-abortion president and Congress.”

“My goal is to not go backwards and continue to go forward in the number of people elected to Congress who are pro-life,” she said. “That is a personal goal I would like to see achieved.”

Edmondson also is busy planning a luncheon to honor her predecessor and preparing a newsletter highlighting Republicans’ work on pro-life issues in various states, “in case they may want to take the same initiatives and to remind other like-minded people who are independent voters that the Republican Party is the party of life.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is blewis@dentonrc.com.

Source: Dentonrc.com

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