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Life of the party: Political loyalists gather to await results

 Posted: 7:05 PM November 06, 2012

Reporter Janet Eastman is at the Democratic party gathering, and reporter Teresa Ristow is with the Republicans at Lithia Motors on Highway 62. We'll have updates through the evening.

(7:44 p.m.) At least 200 people have arrived at the Republican Party gathering at the Lithia Superstore on Highway 62 and the showroom is filling up fast.

Lithia is offering free valet parking for the event.

Two large projectors and some smaller screens all show Fox News as party loyalists mingle. An announcement declares that the event will start in about 15 minutes and that people should have some wine and appetizers and get settled.

Pat Villaescusa, of Medford, said she was a lifelong Democrat who now supports Romney, as Democrats have gone "too far left."

"We are lifelong Democrats but we're Catholics and the Democratic Party has left us," she said.

Ron Meyer, a Medford pear grower, said if Obama is reelected he will be disappointed but still will recognize that he is the country's leader.

"We'll have to live with it, but I don't know how well we can support him," Meyer said. "But he would be our leader."

Meyer said he and his wife don't like how Obama runs the country. "We don't care for the socialist European philosophies of the Obama administration," he explained.

(7:05 p.m.) Jackson County Democrats' Election Night Celebration, aka Blue Bash 2012, geared up at 5 p.m. at the Historic Ashland Armory with appetizers and no-host bar. The evening will include speeches at 6 p.m., a raffle and dinner at 6:30 p.m. and national and local news coverage on big screens into the evening.

BlueBash volunteers worked all day setting up 20 tables for the sold-out dinner, which costs $65 per person. Two buses with 41 residents traveled from the Rogue Valley Manor, while dignitaries in attendance include Sen. Alan Bates, Second Congressional District candidate Joyce Segers, county commissioner candidate Jeff Scroggin and DA-elect Beth Heckert.

Organizers estimate that they will raise $8,500 from the tickets and raffle tickets, because as a banner at the event notes: "The election process doesn't end on election day, it just begins another cycle."

Volunteer Jean Morgan says she decorated the armory in a fiscally responsible way with homemade "Forward" signs and red, white, and blue table runners she got for 40 percent off.

The dinner, catered by Lark's Restaurant, was delayed while speakers honored volunteers and talked politics. The buffet menu includes organic salad, salmon, Chardonnay chicken, couscous, veggies, rosemary bread and desserts.

Raffle prizes include:

A two-hour sight-seeing flight across the region donated by pilot Paul Hampton;

Playing poker, eating pizza and talking politics with Rep. Peter Buckley and Dave Gilmour, valued as "Priceless;"

Six hours of "Obamacare" for someone's garden from Master Gardener Myrl Bishop and landscape designer Jane Hardgrove;

A day of fly-fishing on the Rogue River with guide Steve Haskell;

and donations from Alex's, Amuse, Blue Restaurant Greek, Standing Stone.

— Janet Eastman

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