MUENSTER — Funds were raised as local conservatives met to chose their favored flavor at a picnic Friday.

The annual Cooke County Republican fund raiser picnic is held each June to benefit candidates, according to Sharon McCormack, of the Cooke County Republican Women, which hosted the event.

She said about 75 people attended the picnic — a barbecue auction — held at Muenster City Park Friday evening.

To begin the auction of barbecue, each member who brought a selection of meat and sauce from their favorite barbecue restaurant came to the microphone to give one minute of “advertising” on why their barbecue was the best.

Ken Pearse, auctioneer from Valley View, held the Calcutta-style auction after each “advertised” barbecue, and bids were made by members for the “best judged.”

The 12 barbecue selections from North Texas (and Oklahoma) restaurants were then judged by two panels of judges, who wore “judging hats,” followed by a final judging panel.

Merle Currie won the “Calcutta Pool,” by successfully betting on the winning barbecue prior to the judging.

Everyone was able to sample the barbecue at the picnic, along with the other selections brought by members.

Both barbecue and sauce were judged, and the winner was Neu Ranch House of Gainesville, brought by Currie.

Pat Peale, former president of the Republican Women, said there were some “four-star” barbecue restaurants represented. She said Eddie Dean’s of downtown Dallas, which has in the past hosted dinners for the president, did not win. Nor did Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a successful chain, or Angelo’s of Fort Worth.

“All these that are so renowned didn’t win, but it was our local restaurants that whet the palate of the Cooke County Republicans,” Peale said.

She noted it rained that evening in Cooke County but not in the Muenster Park that evening.

Candidates present were Steve Key, a candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 2, and Drew Springer, a candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 4. A representative from Sen. Craig Estes’ office, Robin McCoy, was also present.

Proceeds from the barbecue fund raiser go to the Cooke County Republican Women Political Action Committee to be used to help finance the campaigns of local candidates.

McCormack said Steve and Maxine Cole and their square dancing group performed several routines and then invited others to join them. Steve Cole called the dance.

It was announced that Maxine Cole was a founding member of the Cooke County Republican Women, and Steve was instrumental in helping the group as well.

The Cole’s daughter, Veronica Harper, is now president of Cooke County Republican Women, McCormack added.

The next meeting of the Cooke County Republican Women is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at the First Christian Church fellowship hall in Gainesville.

Reporter Andy Hogue may be contacted


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