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Veterinarian elected GOP chairman


Annapolis, Md. - The Maryland Republican Party named a 58-year-old mixed animal practitioner as spokesman for its agenda.

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — The Maryland Republican Party named a 58-year-old mixed animal practitioner as spokesman for its agenda.

Dr. James Pelura, of Anne Arundel County, now serves as chairman of the state's conservative party. In 2002, the longtime Republican activist helped get Robert Ehrlich Jr. elected as the state's first conservative governor in 36 years. He ran Maryland's Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004.

Politics is more than a hobby. It's a responsibility, Pelura says.

"It's gotten to the point where politicians control so much of our life it's almost a civic duty to become an activist," he says. "You have to be politically aware because of the power politicians have these days."

Finding time for such involvement is another task. Pelura, who has four adult children and five grandchildren, runs a weekday clinic on his farm. He tends to emergencies and in his spare time, sits on the board of directors for the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association representing equine practice. He's also part of the Maryland Agriculture Land Preservation Foundation, a governor-appointed seat.

Pelura urges his veterinarian colleagues to "get involved."

"Every time you pay your taxes or deal with a government regulatory agency you should care about politics," he says. "Every time you concern yourself about health insurance for your staff or family, you should care. Just volunteer. A role in politics entails everything from putting a sign in your front yard to getting involved in the actual strategy."

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