Waukesha County is a Republican powerhouse because of dedicated warriors like E.D. Cooper and Don Taylor.
E.D. Cooper is retiring as the Waukesha County GOP executive director.
The good news is that E.D. Cooper will continue to stay involved.
One of E.D. Cooper's first political memories is volunteering in 1960 for a young Democrat named John F. Kennedy.
Four years later, Cooper's political identity was irrevocably altered when she saw a nationally televised speech by a new Republican face: Ronald Reagan.
That was the start of a long career dedicated to the Republican Party of Waukesha County, which Cooper helped to build into a national powerhouse.
After nearly 20 years on the job, Cooper is stepping aside as executive director of Waukesha County's GOP organization.
Not only has GOP influence grown locally under her leadership, President Bush enjoyed a larger margin of victory here in the 2000 election than in almost any other large county in the United States.
Cooper, 72, says she is confident that she is leaving the party in good shape.
"I wouldn't have left it otherwise," she said. "It's my baby."
During her tenure as executive director, virtually every partisan office in the county has been controlled by Republicans, and the county has gone solidly GOP in every presidential race.
Colleagues credit Cooper with tireless efforts to mobilize the party faithful, as well as her meticulous attention to details, such as having reliable drivers on hand to chauffeur visiting dignitaries.
"She's been absolutely essential to the growth and success of the party," said Don Taylor, the longtime Waukesha County party chairman.