Rock Co. volunteers hope debate excitement translates into votes

Democrats, Republicans hold debate-watch parties
Rock Co. volunteers hope debate excitement translates into votes

The eyes of the nation are on Centre College in Kentucky on Thursday night, and both Democrats and Republicans are hoping excitement over the only vice-presidential debate will translate into votes for their candidate.

Don Hilbig, of Beloit, is pounding the pavement for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan. He said Ryan’s roots in Rock County will help him connect with families during the vice-presidential debate.

“He may lift up Janesville as an example of American roots and American spirit and of challenges facing Rock County,” Hilbig said.

A few blocks away, Judy Vaughn was busy Thursday rallying support for President Barack Obama.

“Just because (Ryan) is from Janesville doesn’t mean I would support him, because I don’t really think he understands the needs of Janesville,” Vaughn said.

She said she’s confident that Vice President Joe Biden’s record and experience will speak to middle-class families.

“I have all the confidence in the world in him (Biden). He’s got good background, and I think he’ll do very well,” Vaughn said.


Hilbig said he believes Ryan will perform well in the debate.

“From past debates and past experience, I think Paul will credit himself very well,” Hilbig said. “To see him come alive on the national stage, it’s exciting.”

Both sides said the true victory will be on Nov. 6, but for now they will be glued to their televisions.

Both groups are inviting supporters to debate-watch parties in Janesville on Thursday night. The Democrats are hosting a party at the UAW Hall and the Republicans will be at the Holiday Inn Express.