The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 12, 2014

Cambria GOP chief crafts strategy

Dave Sutor

— Jim Orr already has helped the Cambria County Republican Party  craft its first strategic plan in more than a decade.

Now, he is going to be the person in charge of leading its implementation.

Late last week, the local GOP Committee announced Orr’s appointment to the position of chairman. He previously served as the first vice chairman. In that post, he worked with former Chairman Joseph Slifko and others to design the plan that “is the key to the party’s re-emergence in the area,” according to a press release.

The outline calls for establishing a countywide structure, mentoring aspiring candidates and adhering to a feasible financial plan.

“It really is a good way going forward,” said Orr, who inherited the position after Slifko resigned, citing family issues.

Part of the plan calls for encouraging grassroots involvement and improving precinct captain training.

“That’s one of the best ways to get people involved that are concerned about the politics and government functioning of our local county,” said Cambria County President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder, a Republican.

Orr, who spent 30 years with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, also wants to work on voter outreach. “Government is supposed to be a local function and it’s incumbent upon people in the area to take an interest, become involved and not only educate themselves, but those around them,” Orr said.

Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans in the county. But the GOP has enjoyed success in recent years with Lengenfelder and Mark Wissinger winning commissioner positions. Cambria County’s two U.S. House of Representatives members, Reps. Keith Rothfus and Bill Shuster, are Republicans.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at