HURON — The election of Donald Trump to the White House has reinvigorated members of the National Federation of Republican Women and lifted their spirits when they gather for meetings, the state president of the organization said Monday.
When Marguerete McPhillips of Pennington County hears people say that women were not for Trump in last year’s presidential election, she said she laughs.
“The ladies are growing so upbeat and so happy,” she said at a luncheon of the Beadle County Republican Women.
“Our women are so important to the organization and to the state,” McPhillips said.
“We are a driving force and it’s just a wonder to me that we have so much response from the women throughout the state,” she said.
The South Dakota chapter of the national organization is losing Potter County, however. The club voted to disband when it could no longer sign the minimum of 10 members.
But McPhillips said women at Dakota Dunes and in Lawrence and Butte counties are starting chapters.
Reorganization of regions means that South Dakota is no longer aligned with Idaho and Wyoming, but is now affiliated with Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas.
State presidents will be in Abilene, Kan., for a regional meeting in mid-July.
They will gather in September in McPhillips’ hometown of Philadelphia for the national convention and to elect a new president. A woman from Kansas is the only candidate so far.
She also attended her first presidential inauguration in January.
“I’m so happy that I went,” she said. “I was a page in Philadelphia for the convention for George Bush, but never thought about going to the inauguration. It was interesting.”
They encountered problems because of all the protesters. Secret Service agents were needed for their security at times and it was difficult to get around Washington, D.C., because the subway system had been blocked off.
At the Freedom Ball, there were no places to sit, she said.
Still, she said she was glad she went to the inauguration.
“If you can get to one you should go,” McPhillips said. “It’s an experience. I really believe that.”
After September in Philadelphia, the next national convention of the federation is 2019 in Indianapolis.
The South Dakota chapter is doing well, she said.
“Republican women, we’ll get some new clubs in, and we’ll be strong,” she said. “We have a good board.
“I know we’re all Republicans, and we all feel strongly about our party and our country, and that’s the most important thing,” McPhillips said.