Carrie Almond says she is "as stubborn as a Missouri mule" and it is that tenacity that has put "Rosie," the red, white and blue 2015 Thor Palazzo motorcoach, on an ambitious nationwide tour to elect a Republican president by registering GOP-leaning women to vote.
"I came up with the idea and we will keep going until November 7th or until the money runs out," said Almond, president of the National Federation of Republican Women.
She and other members of the NFRW parked the bus at the Old County Courthouse on Monday afternoon in an effort to rally the troops -- women who are leaning toward casting their ballot for Donald Trump.
She was welcomed by Rachael Tabelski, of Batavia, president of the Genesee County Women's Republican Club, and Genesee County Legislator John Deleo, among others.
Almond, an executive vice president of Citizens Bank & Trust, a northern Missouri financial institution, sees 2016 as a "critical election cycle, not only for the nation's highest office but for Republican political leaders down the line. And, during the "Destination: White House" tour that began on Mother's Day and already has hit 24 states, she said she likes what she has been hearing from the public.
"Women that I have heard from believe that this election is bigger than gender," she said. "They are telling me we can't afford a third term of Barack Obama's policies by putting Hillary Clinton in. They are concerned about the Supreme Court, national security, the economy and jobs."
Almond said "Rosie," which is named after Almond's grandmother, has logged 14,000 miles thus far, and will put on at least that many more as a swing to the West Coast is on the itinerary. During a stop in Ohio, Almond said she had the privilege of addressing the National Republican Convention in Cleveland.
"I spoke about the fact that we passed a unity resolution iln March calling for women to get behind our presumptive nominee (Trump) and that we will are traveling by bus to motivate our club members to get the vote out," she said, noting that around 23 million women in the United States are not registered to vote.
Founded in 1938, the NFRW lists a membership of 65,000 women who "do the work," Almond said, tasks such as coordinating voter registration rallies, making phone calls, and working during election days. She said her group has been fundraising continuously in an effort to keep the bus in gear.
"We're dialing for dollars and begging for money every day to keep Rosie on the road," she said.
For more information about the NFRW or to donate to the cause, go to www.rosie16.com.