Longtime GOP member: 'Impeachment not justified'

Lorena M. Turchi

Republican Calvin Coolidge was president of the United States in 1926, the year Lorena M. Turchi was born.

And ever since, the Grand Old Party has been front and center for the 93-year-old who still remains active in her party.

She is vice chair of the Vermillion County Republican Party and in the November general election, won the District 4 seat on the Clinton City Council, gathering 116 votes or 59 percent of votes cast in the district, defeating a Democrat.

“I had several friends who talked me into running. My son thought it was ridiculous at my age to run. He said I don’t need those worries. I thought it would give it a try and told my son it would keep me young as I love to meet people,” Turchi said. “I called nearly everybody in the ward to consider me for the position.”

She became involved in politics as a teenager campaigning for her father, Loren Griffin, who served two terms as Vermillion County sheriff.

Then later she campaigned for her husband, Frank B. Turchi, who served three terms as county sheriff. He had been a prisoner of war during World War II while serving in the U.S. Army.

“My political involvement continued serving on the public defenders board and serving on the Clinton Police Merit Board,” she said. “I have spend all my life in either politics or law enforcement. I lived at the old jail in Newport for years. I told [former Indiana] Gov. [Mike] Pence, who is now vice president, who was sitting next to me at a speaker’s table at an event, I said, governor, I hate to tell you this, but I spend a lot of years in jail.

“When he got up to give the keynote speech, Pence said he met the most interesting people tonight, just like Lorena, who spend a lot of years in jail. The crowd just howled because they all knew why, I had lived there,” she said of the former county jail.

Her favorite president is Ronald Regan, as she and her husband, now deceased, attended both of Regan’s presidential inaugurations in Washington, D.C. Turchi said she watches television for everything involved with politics and said she daily watches the news about President Donald Trump.

“The impeachment inquiry is not justified,” Turchi said. “Naturally, I would back him all the way. I don’t like and I don’t appreciate the way they [Democrats] criticize him. I think he is doing is very best to run this county.

“I like that he is straight forward and tells it like it is,” Turchi said. “If the [U.S.] House has to go through with an impeachment, fine, but I think he will pull his own,” adding she thinks the U.S. Senate will not convict the president.

Turchi said with the impeachment ongoing with the president, she is uncertain of the impact it will have on U.S. Senate and U.S. House races in the 2020 presidential election.

“I hope we [Republicans] hold our own, but I hesitate to say,” she said. “I have heard people say they are ready to change, but here in this county, it is strictly Democrat. I have many Democrat friends, but am a Republican whether they like it or not,” she smiled.

She does not know who will likely emerge as a Democrat candidate for president. Her views varied on other issues:

• Immigration: “We need to control immigration. I think we need to build the wall, which would eliminate some of our problems.”

• Gun control: “I am not that sold on gun control. I think the laws we have now are okay.”

• Health care: “I am not sure of universal health care. I retired from Eli Lilly & Co. after nearly 20 years and I have good coverage on health care, so I have no problem with health care the way it is now.”

• China trade, tariffs: “I think the president is doing the right thing, whether I like it or not.”

• College debt: “My grandson graduated from Indiana State University. His family helped him, but I know it can be expensive.”

• Tax cuts: “We all want tax cuts. I am not sure how the different ideas on taxes will work” when it comes to funding government.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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