Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had expanded slavery into U. S. territories. The party subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States; the Party was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as a third-party presidential candidate calling for social reforms. After the 1912 election, many Roosevelt supporters left the Party, the Party underwent an ideological shift to the right; the liberal Republican element in the GOP was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 that continued during the Reagan Era in the 1980s. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.
White voters identified with the Republican Party after the 1960s. Following the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican Party was aligned with Christian conservatism; the Party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing; the GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, gun rights and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP was committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is conservative.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the popular Know Nothing Party. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states; the Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was suggested for a new anti-slavery party, was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin; the name was chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories. While Republican candidate John C.
Frémont lost the 1856 United States presidential election to James Buchanan, he did win 11 of the 16 northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in the elections of 1860 when it won control of both houses of Congress and its candidate, former congressman Abraham Lincoln, was elected President. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket. Under Republican congressional leadership, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—which banned slavery in the United States—passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865; the party's success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished, was continued to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant, ran Horace Greeley for the presidency; the Stalwart faction defended Grant and the spoils system, whereas the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed in 1883.
The Republican Party supported hard money, high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans had strong support from pietistic Protestants, but they resisted demands for Prohibition; as the Northern postwar economy boomed with heavy and light industry, mines, fast-growing cities, prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth. The GOP was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System. However, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers; the high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections defeating McKinley himself. The Democrats elected Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892; the election of William McKinley in 1896 was marked by a resurgence of Republican dominance that lasted until 1932.
McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Pa
Kent County, Texas
Kent County is a county located in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 808, its county seat is Jayton. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1892, it is named for Andrew Kent. Kent County is one of six prohibition or dry counties in the state of Texas. Republican Drew Springer, Jr. a businessman from Muenster in Cooke County, has since January 2013 represented Kent County in the Texas House of Representatives. 8000 BC Paleo-Indians were the first inhabitants. Native American inhabitants included the Wanderers band of Comanche. 1872 Ranald S. Mackenzie and his soldiers trounced the Comanches at Treasure Butte, southeast of Clairemont. 1876 The Texas legislature formed Kent County from Bexar districts. The new county is named after Alamo defender Andrew Kent. 1888 Cattleman R. L. Rhomberg settled in the new county and named a settlement Clairemont for his daughter, Claire. 1890 The county census recorded 324 residents. 1891 A conflict arose between cattle ranchers and farmers who tried to fence their farms against cattle.
1892 Kent County was organized, with Clairemont as the county seat. 1900 The county population was 899. 1909 The Stamford and Northeastern Railway built a line across the county's northeast corner. The railroad, which connected Stamford and Spur became part of the Wichita Valley Railroad; the Jayton community was founded. 1930 The county's population peaked at 3,851. 1946-1991 Oil was discovered in Kent County in 1946. By 1991, more than 448,448,000 barrels of oil have been produced in the county since 1946. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 903 square miles, of which 903 square miles are land and 0.4 square miles is covered by water. U. S. Highway 380 State Highway 70 State Highway 208 Dickens County Stonewall County Fisher County Scurry County Garza County King County Crosby County As of the census of 2000, 859 people, 353 households, 247 families resided in the county; the population density was less than 1/km². The 551 housing units averaged about 0.6 1 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the county was 95.46% White, 0.23% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 3.73% from other races, 0.23% from two or more races. About 9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 353 households, 26.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.20% were married couples living together, 5.90% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.00% were not families. About 28% of all households were made up of individuals, 14.20% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.83. In the county, the population was distributed as 20.60% under the age of 18, 5.40% from 18 to 24, 21.80% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from 45 to 64, 25.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.60 males. The median income for a household in the county was $30,433, for a family was $35,568.
Males had a median income of $23,875 versus $20,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,626. About 9.20% of families and 10.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.10% of those under age 18 and 6.10% of those age 65 or over. Jayton Girard Clairemont Dry counties Double Mountain Fork Brazos River National Register of Historic Places listings in Kent County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Kent County Kent County government’s website Kent County from the Handbook of Texas Online Kent County Profile from the Texas Association of Counties
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Nolan County, Texas
Nolan County is a county located in the west central region of the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 15,216, its county seat is Sweetwater. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1881, it is named for one of the first American traders to visit Texas. Nolan County comprises TX Micropolitan Statistical Area. Susan King has been since 2007 the Republican state representative from Nolan as well as Jones and Taylor Counties. From 1921 to 1925, the Democrat Richard M. Chitwood of Sweetwater represented Nolan County in the state House; as chairman of the House Education Committee, he worked in 1923 to establish what became Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He had first tried to obtain the institution for Sweetwater as the central location of West Texas. After the institution was established, he resigned from the House to move to Lubbock to become the first Texas Tech business manager, he served in that capacity for just 15 months. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 914 square miles, of which 912 square miles are land and 2.0 square miles are covered by water.
Nolan County is in the Cross Timbers region for wildlife management. Geologically Nolan County occupies part of the Rolling Plains in the North and South, separated by an isolated part of the Edwards Plateau in much of the center; the uplifted plateau, rising up to 500 feet above the surrounding plains, gives Nolan county an advantage on production of wind energy. Plateau areas of the Cretaceous Period and much of the county are underlain by petroleum deposits from the Pennsylvanian Period. Interstate 20 U. S. Highway 84 State Highway 70 State Highway 153 Fisher County Taylor County Runnels County Coke County Mitchell County As of the census of 2000, 15,802 people, 6,170 households, 4,288 families resided in the county; the population density was 17 people per square mile. The 7,112 housing units averaged 8 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 78.45% White, 4.68% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 14.02% from other races, 2.07% from two or more races.
About 28.04% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 6,170 households, 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 12.60% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.50% were not families. Around 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01. In the county, the population was distributed as 27.10% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males. The median income for a household in the county was $26,209, for a family was $32,004. Males had a median income of $28,674 versus $19,335 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,077. About 18.30% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.50% of those under age 18 and 18.50% of those age 65 or over.
Nolan County has established itself as a center for wind power generation. As of July 2008, Nolan County generated more wind energy than the entire state of California, would have ranked sixth in the world for wind power generation if it were counted as its own country. A branch of Texas State Technical College operates near Sweetwater offering the first community college program for wind energy in Texas beginning in 2007. Wind energy investments in the county of about $3 billion US dollars since 1999 have resulted in about 1,330 direct wind-related jobs which were created in Nolan County alone, with $18,000,000 in annual landowner royalties and over $12,000,000 in annual local school taxes, about $1.7 million more in county property taxes. Nolan county is a hub of the Public Utility Commission’s $5 Billion CREZ wind energy transmission line expansion project in Texas. Blackwell Roscoe Sweetwater Maryneal Nolan Bitter Creek Wastella Decker List of museums in West Texas National Register of Historic Places listings in Nolan County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Nolan County Nolan County Official Site Nolan County from the Handbook of Texas Online Nolan County Profile from the Texas Association of Counties The National WASP WWII Museum
National Junior College Athletic Association
The National Junior College Athletic Association, founded in 1938, is the governing association of community college, state college and junior college athletics throughout the United States. The NJCAA holds 24 separate regions across 24 states and is divided into 3 divisions; the idea for the NJCAA was conceived in 1937 at California. A handful of junior college representatives met to organize an association that would promote and supervise a national program of junior college sports and activities consistent with the educational objectives of junior colleges; the constitution presented at the charter meeting in Fresno on May 14, 1938, was accepted and the National Junior College Athletic Association became a functioning organization. In 1949, the NJCAA was reorganized by dividing the nation into sixteen regions; the officers of the association were the president, vice president, treasurer, public relations director, the sixteen regional vice presidents. Although the NJCAA was founded in California, it no longer operates there and has been supplanted instead by the unaffiliated California Community College Athletic Association with 100+ colleges participating.
The NJCAA allowed male competitors only until 1975. Based out of Hutchinson, KS since 1968, the national office relocated to Colorado Springs, CO in 1985. Following 23 years in the Rocky Mountain region, the NJCAA moved its headquarters to Charlotte, NC with a major announcement in February 2018. At this time, the association adopted a new governance structure- the 37-member NJCAA Board of Regents along with its inaugural Future Leaders Internship program; each institution belonging to the NJCAA chooses to compete on the Division I, II or III level in designated sports. Division I colleges may offer full athletic scholarships a maximum of tuition, fees and board, course related books, up to $250 in course required supplies, transportation costs one time per academic year to and from the college by direct route. Division II colleges are limited to awarding tuition, course related books, up to $250 in course required supplies. Division III institutions may provide no athletically related financial assistance.
However, NJCAA colleges that do not offer athletic aid may choose to participate at the Division I or II level if they so desire.http://www.njcaa.org/eligibility/faq Academic Student-Athlete Awards by sport NJCAA Academic Team of the Year by sport Betty Jo Graber Female Student-Athlete of the Year by sport David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year by sport Lea Plarski Award by sport NJCAA Sponsors by sport Service Awards by sport NJCAA Hall of Fame See footnoteNJCAA Hall of Fame See footnoteNJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame See footnotesNJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame See footnoteNJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame See footnoteNJCAA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame See footnoteNJCAA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame See footnote Region 1 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Region 2 Bi-State Conference Region 3 Mid-State Athletic Conference, Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, Western New York Athletic Conference Region 4 Illinois N4C Conference, Illinois Skyway Conference, Arrowhead Conference Region 5 Metro Athletic Conference, North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference, Western Junior College Athletic Conference Region 6 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Region 7 Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association Region 8 Mid-Florida Conference, Panhandle Conference, Southern Conference, Suncoast Conference Region 9 Mon-Dak Conference Region 10 Carolinas Junior College Conference Region 11 Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Region 12 Michigan Community College Athletic Association, Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Region 13 Minnesota College Athletic Conference, Mon-Dak Conference Region 14 Southwest Junior College Conference Region 15 City University of New York Athletic Conference, Mid Hudson Conference Region 16 Midwest Community College Athletic Conference Region 17 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Region 18 Scenic West Athletic Conference Region 19 Garden State Athletic Conference Region 20 Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association, Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference Region 21 Massachusetts Community College Athletic Association Region 22 Alabama Community College Conference Region 23 MISS-LOU Junior College Conference, Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges Region 24 Mid-West Athletic Conference, Great Rivers Athletic Conference.
JUCO World Series JUCO Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame NJCAA Division I NJCAA Division II NJCAA Division III NJCAA Women's Championship Due to the small number of schools fielding teams, some football-only conferences exist. They may be home to teams from multiple regions; the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference includes only schools in Kansas. All are members of the conference in other sports; the Midwest Football Conference which features schools from Iowa, once included programs in northern Illinois and North Dakota before several of its schools dropped football prior to the 2015 season. The three Iowa schools play each other and have a scheduling alliance with the KJCCC; the College of DuPage, the only Illinois school that still has football, plays as an independent. Harper and Grand Rapids all disbanded their football programs. North Dakota State School of Science joined the MCAC; the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, includes schools in North Dakota. All of the Minnesota schools participate in the conference in other spo
Western Junior College Athletic Conference
The Western Junior College Athletic Conference is a junior college athletic conference for many technical and community colleges within the Southwest states of Texas and New Mexico, sponsored by the National Junior College Athletic Association. Conference championships are held in most sports and individuals can be named to All-Conference and All-Academic teams, it is part of NJCAA Region 5. Clarendon College El Paso Community College Frank Phillips College Howard College Luna Community College Midland College New Mexico Junior College New Mexico Military Institute Odessa College South Plains College Western Texas College North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference in Region 5 NJCAA Region 5 website NJCAA website
Scurry County, Texas
Scurry County is a county located in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 16,921, its county seat is Snyder, the home for Western Texas College. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1884. Scurry County was one of 46 prohibition, or dry, counties in the state of Texas, until a 2006 election approved the sale of beer and wine in Snyder, a 2008 election approved the sale of liquor by the drink throughout the county. Scurry County comprises TX Micropolitan Statistical Area. "This county, lying directly north of Mitchell County, was created in 1876, was organized June 28, 1884. It was named for William Read Scurry and Confederate Army general; until 1909, it was without railroad facilities, the nearest shipping points were Colorado City to the south and still the railroad towns in Fisher County to the east. The first railroad was the Roscoe and Pacific Railway, built from Roscoe on the Texas & Pacific in Nolan County, to Snyder, the county seat of Scurry County, about 1909, subsequently extended to Fluvanna in Scurry County.
In 1911, the Texico-Coleman division of the Santa Fe system was built through the county, giving it a trunk line of railway. Development has been rapid during the early 1900s; some of the important pioneer facts concerning Scurry County are found in a sketch of W. H. Snyder, after whom the county seat town was named. In 1877, he opened a trading camp in the county, hauling lumber on wagons from Dallas to build his store and hauling a good portion of his goods from the same place, he used what was known as trail wagons, with seven yoke of oxen to a team, each wagon having a capacity of 50,000 pounds. Mr. Snyder erected a house in Scurry County and began dealing in general merchandise and supplies for buffalo hunters. Other parties moved into the same locality, and, the beginning of the town of Snyder. In 1882, Mr. Snyder laid out the town, two years it became the county seat. Snyder has had an enterprising citizenship, 10 years had an independent school district and four churches, was an important center for trade.
Its importance has increased since the coming of the railway, in 1910, its population was 2,154. Other towns have sprung up along the railway, the most important of, Fluvanna, at the terminus of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific, Hermleigh." According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 908 square miles, of which 905 square miles is land and 2.1 square miles is covered by water. U. S. Highway 84 U. S. Highway 180 State Highway 208 State Highway 350 Kent County Fisher County Mitchell County Borden County Garza County As of the census of 2000, 16,361 people, 5,756 households, 4,161 families resided in the county; the population density was 18 people per square mile. The 7,112 housing units averaged 8 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 81.27% White, 6.06% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 10.51% from other races, 1.41% from two or more races. About 27.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 5,756 households, 33.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.40% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.70% were not families.
The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.05. In the county, the population was distributed as 25.20% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 107.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $31,646, for a family was $38,467. Males had a median income of $30,399 versus $18,061 for females; the per capita income for the county was $15,871. About 12.60% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 11.70% of those age 65 or over. Snyder Hermleigh Dunn Fluvanna Ira Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Scurry County Scurry County government's website Scurry County from the Handbook of Texas Online Historic Scurry County materials, hosted by the Portal to Texas History. TXGenWeb Scurry County website Scurry County Genealogy Trails Scurry County Profile from the Texas Association of Counties