2010-06-24 / Front Page

Local GOP Changes Leadership

Mikeal Fix steps down; Bonnie Mellott Keefer takes over as party chairperson
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Bonnie Mellott Keefer Bonnie Mellott Keefer Mikeal Fix made one of the toughest decisions in his political career earlier this month when he stepped down and relinquished the title of Fulton County Republican Committee chairperson, a role he has held for the last 14 years.

Fix, 44, assumed the chairperson’s position in June of 1996 when he replaced then-chairperson Bill Miller. Since that time, Fix has been diligent in fulfilling what he views as the most important task of a chairperson – getting Republicans elected and into office.

“Aside from countywide elections, a chairperson is the liaison between the state party and the local committee. You have to attend state meetings to let them know that Fulton County is not just a place you drive through on your way from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh,” Fix told the “News.”

Possibly the biggest undertaking for the former chairperson and the local party was helping during the election campaign for George W. Bush in 2000. The county recorded the largest percentage of votes in the entire state, according to Fix, which was a feat that was repeated four years later during the re-election process.

Looking back at his start in politics, Fix recalled being excited at the prospect of voting. Upon turning 18, the Hustontown resident registered as a Democrat.

“I can’t remember exactly when I changed to Republican, but I changed when I realized the difference between the parties,” said Fix. “I was definitely more in line with the Republican platform with less government, protecting the right to bear arms, lower taxes and protecting the unborn.”

However, it wasn’t until 1989 when he got his first real taste of politics and was appointed to fill a vacancy in the party as a Dublin Township committeeperson. In making his decision to step down as chairperson, Fix stated the decision was a difficult one but the right one to make given the time.

“I found myself becoming complacent and that is not good for the party. I still love politics and will continue to be involved. Stepping down in a year that has been proclaimed by many political pundits as a good year for Republicans just seemed like the right time,” he concluded.

Stepping into the role of Fulton County Republican Committee chairperson is county commissioner Bonnie Mellott Keefer. Keefer also currently serves in the capacity of president of the Fulton County Council of Republican Women and previously served a stint as chairman of the county committee in the mid-1980s.

She will serve a two-year term of office as a result of her election by the county committee members on June 10.

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