Local Republican party organizations hold Lincoln Day Dinners to rally the faithful, make yard signs and campaign materials available -- but in a federal election year, talk dominates.
"He's articulate, he's intelligent, and he's conservative. Three things that I like a lot."
"This isn't the first time for him in politics. He's a very impressive guy."
Buzz at the dinner concerned the national ticket. Many in attendance had just learned that Mitt Romney had selected Paul Ryan from Wisconsin as a running mate. One man in particular knew him better than most. West Virginia Attorney General candidate Patrick Morrisey worked closely with Ryan while in a position as the senior health care staffer at the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. The two worked together on health care and budget-related issues.
"If there's one person in our country who could help Mitt Romney go through and articulate what the future vision of America should look like, Paul Ryan is that person," Morrisey said. "He is someone who knows the budget process backwards and forwards, he knows the tremendous pressures that the budget deficit are placing on American families."
Morrisey continued, "Representative -- Congressman Ryan is one of the most principled, knowledgeable, articulate leaders that we're going to find in our country today. And he's an incredible addition to the Romney ticket."
West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate John Raese met Ryan previously. Don Haskins served in the House of Delegates from Marshall County for two terms. Both agree that Ryan solidifies the Republican base for the fall election.
"I don't think people vote for a Vice-President," Raese said. "People vote for a President, and I think that Romney has selected a good one. He's certainly not going to be an anchor, and he's certainly going to be beneficial to the party."
Haskins said, "He's a family man, and I think that's important. And also, some of the activities that he is involved in -- he's been around, he knows politics."
The Romney campaign will need to win in places like Marshall County -- if they want to move into the White House.