GOP cookout puts fun in the party

GOP cookout puts fun in the party

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Hancock County Republican Cookout was started by the man who is fondly called "Mr. Republican"; Dr. Andrew Martinolich.

Martinolich isn't going to let illness keep him from helping bring back one of the most well-known Republican get-togethers on the Coast: Even if party goes on without him.

"We got a new leadership and they wanted to rejuvenate the Republican Party in Hancock County, and so I was [like] let's have another," the iconic leader said.

For 25 years on the grounds at his Hancock County home, many local, state and national leaders have walked their way to the big time; including Trent Lott.

"The people would come visit with Trent, see each other and decide, well this is the way to go," Martinolich said. "And so, basically, we were pushing the Republican party. Trent Lott, Donald Trump...also."

Lead rocker for the party – Martinolich's son, Mark.

"This event had been going on for year after year when I was a teenager, and now I've got grandchildren," Mark said. "We want to make Republicans back in power again, and this is what this is all about. It's a great, great thing."

In a year of divisive politics, it's an opportunity to get on the same page not just for the presidential election, but for the down ticket as well.

"It's wonderful because we need all the votes and get people enthused, and we thought this was a way to get people together again," said long-time Hancock County Republican leader Nell Frisbie.

Frisbie has a lot of advice for Donald Trump from securing the border to helping the veterans. But just as important: "I would tell Donald Trump to smile," Frisbie said.

State Senator Philip Moran says it is the most polarized election he can remember.

And this is his advice to his fellow Republicans as the election nears is simply to vote.

"You have to get out and vote," Moran said. "That's the key to it. If all the Republicans, the majority of Republicans, get out and vote, then we'll be OK in the election."

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