In Gallia, 4,662 Democrats and 4,631 Republicans cast votes in the presidential primary. Clinton netted 3,595 votes while her closest challenger, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, got 861 votes. Although they had withdrawn from the race earlier, Democratic candidates Joe Biden, John Edwards and Bill Richardson also received votes in the local primary.
Mick Davenport, Meigs County commissioner and chairman of the Meigs County Democratic Party, said Clinton's visit with two Pomeroy families on Feb. 28 “helped tremendously” in getting out a strong Clinton vote in the county. He said 76 percent is “a large margin.”
Clinton stopped here after spending the night in Parkersburg, W.Va. She spoke in Belpre on Feb. 27, and went on to the Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande and Hanging Rock in Lawrence County, where she spoke about her Pomeroy visit.
Davenport said Clinton's endorsement by Gov. Ted Strickland, a popular favorite particularly among faithful Democrats, also helped her carry Meigs County.
“A lot of Democrats in Meigs County knew the governor had endorsed Senator Clinton, and that carries a lot of weight here,” Davenport said.
“It means a lot that (Clinton) would take time to visit here,” Davenport said. “We as Democrats know the Clintons are no strangers to Appalachia, and for her to make a visit to Appalachian Ohio confirms her commitment to the region.”
Davenport noted that both former President Bill Clinton and the senator have visited Ohio and the Sixth Congressional District to campaign for Strickland during his years in Congress.
Davenport said he was skeptical when he was first contacted about a possible Clinton visit. He said a member of Clinton's campaign advance staff contacted him about a week before the visit, to see if he would be willing to help in organizing a local event.
“I said I didn't believe she would ever come here, but, yes, I would be willing to help out,” Davenport said.
Clinton made an hour-long visit to the families of Bryan Holman and Trent and Laura Nash to discuss family issues, including rising fuel costs, health care and job creation.