The Republican Party of Arizona recognized Gila County Republican Party Chairman Gary Morris and Precinct Committeewoman Shirley Dye for their outstanding efforts in improving the Republican footprint in Gila County.

The event took place Jan. 24 before the Republican Party’s annual state convention.

Morris was recognized with the Republican Party of Arizona’s “Lincoln Award for Lifetime Achievement” in leading the effort that turned Gila County from a predominant Democratic county to a deep red Republican county.

Dye was recognized as “Outstanding Party Worker” for her efforts in recruiting precinct committeemen and women and many other projects.

Presenting the award, Republican Party of Arizona Chairwoman Dr. Kelly Ward said the Lincoln Lifetime Achievement Award “goes to a very special person who has devoted a lifetime of service in the military, in his career as a firefighter, and through his work for our party as an influencer in promoting our Republican values and candidates. This gentleman has been instrumental in leading the effort to turn a county that was once blue to deep red. Under his leadership, the county enjoys a 36-point Republican advantage compared to being down 15 points prior to 2010. Voter turnout has significantly increased under his leadership, and down-ballot races have been successful in his county, with Republicans holding 12 out of 16 county seats ... It is my great honor to award Gila County Party Chairman Gary Morris this year’s Lincoln Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The nomination letter for Dye stated, “Anyone who knows Shirley Dye is aware of Shirley’s total commitment to Republican principles and getting Republicans elected at every level. She has been a longtime member of the Gila County Republican Committee where she served as secretary and currently serves as the precinct committeeman coordinator for recruiting new PCs. Additionally, she works with the party’s website manager in mass emailing reports of the Gila County Republican Committee’s activities and recent Republican news to registered Republicans and independents throughout the county ...

“In the fall of 2009 she became one of the founding members of the Payson Tea Party and remains an active member in that organization. She served as secretary, vice president, and now president of the Tea Party. She was also actively involved in the Northern Arizona Tea Party Coalition for the past five years.

“Overlapping those commitments, she is also an active member of the Rim Country Republican Club serving as secretary for two years. Still more, she continues to be an active participant in the state lands issue. She was in 2012, and again in 2016, a delegate Republican National Committee’s National Conventions. She has been an elected State Committeeman for every State Convention since 2010.”

Dye was elected to both the Payson Unified School District board and the governing board of the Northern Gila County Sanitary District in 2012 and reelected to both during the 2016 elections.

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