Renee Amoore, 67, who crashed through racial and gender barriers to become deputy chairperson of the Pennsylvania Republican Party 24 years ago, died Monday evening, May 4. The cause of her death was not announced.
Lawrence Tabas, the party’s chair, confirmed Ms. Amoore’s death Tuesday in a letter to Republican State Committee members.
“Southeastern Pennsylvania has lost a great leader and the Republican Party a stalwart supporter,” Tabas wrote. “I will miss her friendship, guidance, and most of all her upbeat attitude.”
Rob Gleason, who served as party chair for a decade, recalled that Ms. Amoore was efficient in calling meetings to order, getting a crowd to settle down to listen to some opening comments sprinkled with humor.
“It is unusual for someone to be loved by everyone in a political organization,” Gleason said. “But she earned it.”
Ms. Amoore, an African American woman who operated several health-care and communications companies from King of Prussia, took an evangelical approach to recruiting black voters to the Republican Party.
“We are very conservative people,” Ms. Amoore told a mostly white crowd of Republicans about black voters in 2009. “We believe in everything the Republican Party represents. Let me tell you: Lincoln, we eat that up. We are a good party. We are not racist. I’m sick of people saying that.”
Ms. Amoore served as a campaign surrogate for several Republican presidential candidates, including George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. She hosted then-candidate Donald Trump at a North Philadelphia meeting of African American business owners in 2016 and pushed back against the invective she faced from protesters outside.
“We’re going to do the best we can to have a Republican win in Pennsylvania, which hasn’t happened in a long time,” she said after that meeting.
Trump went on to win the state, the first Republican to do so since 1988. He appointed Ms. Amoore to his presidential transition team for health and human services.
Former Gov. Tom Ridge said he was privileged when Ms. Amoore accepted his appointment to the Governor’s Advisory Committee on African American Affairs.
“Renee was one of those unique personalities who could light up a room and brighten your day,” Ridge said. “She worked hard to make Pennsylvania and the communities she served a better place.”
Speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2008, Ms. Amoore described herself “as a nurse, entrepreneur, and small business owner.”
“If you know, like I do, that small businesses are the greatest source of jobs in the inner cities and are demanding policies that allow small businesses to thrive there, if you want a country where high taxes, excessive regulation, and bureaucratic paperwork never rob small businesses of the ability to create more jobs, then [then-Republican presidential nominee U.S. Sen.] John [McCain] is your man,” she said, drawing applause.
Bob Asher, a member of the Republican National Committee who runs a candy manufacturing business in Montgomery County, traveled to several conventions with Ms. Amoore.