Oxon Hill Republican proud of Obama but supports Romney

One in a series of profiles of Maryland delegates to the Republican National Convention

JoAnn Fisher readily acknowledges she's a bit of an oddity in her Prince George's County community. She is, after all, a Republican.


Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of 9-to-1 in the county in suburban Washington.

She also has a different take on President Barack Obama than many of the delegates here at the Republican National Convention: As an African-American woman, she says, she's proud of the president and feels she can in some ways relate to him.

But that's where her relationship with the Democrats ends.

"The community that I live in is very, very heavily Democratic," said Fisher, a 65-year-old Oxon Hill tutor who served 15 years in the Navy. "But why should we all be Democrats?"

On the issues that matter most to Fisher — education, seniors and the economy — it is the GOP that she says has the right answers.

She also feels the entrenched Democratic leadership in the Washington region was not open to discussing policies or new ways of addressing some of the problems she sees in her neighborhood.

Fisher was elected in April as an alternate to the convention but was moved up to delegate status when another member from Prince George's County dropped out. Delegates have more work to do in Tampa — and they get to formally cast a vote for the nominee.

A member of the Prince George's County Republican Central Committee, Fisher frequently volunteers to help the poor and homeless. She rattles off some of the neighborhood projects she's been involved with, from clearing a drug market off a vacant field to pushing the area's transportation authorities for better bus service.

When it comes to Mitt Romney, she is strong supporter — but that doesn't mean she wouldn't make a tweak or two to his platform.

"Mitt Romney is the best choice for the Republicans," Fisher said. "I like him personally as a choice. I do think that some of the issues he will have to refine a little bit better to include everybody. Right now, we're having serious issues with unemployment. We need to change that."