2019 Lincoln Day celebration

Photo by Shari Harris
Meri Wrest and others worked hard to decorate for the event.


By Shari Harris

Co-Publisher


Texas County Republicans gathered at the Sherman Hill Field House on the Licking High School campus Saturday evening, April 27, for the annual Lincoln Day celebration. Lincoln Day is the primary annual celebration and fundraising event for the Republican Party in Texas and many other Missouri counties. The committee responsible for planning the event this year included Terry Brown, Laura Crowley, Bob and Leann Green, Doyle Heiney, Diane Krantz, Scott Lindsey, Connie Thompson, and William Villapiano.
The gymnasium was transformed by several members of the local Republican Party, with a large part of the credit given to Meri Wrest for her decorating and setup work. Banners of red, white and blue were on display throughout the room. Tables were covered by brilliant white tablecloths with red or blue runners and bouquets of red and white flowers centered the tables. The United States and Missouri flags graced the stage, and another bouquet of red and white sat before the podium. The POW/MIA table was set up on the right side of the room near the stage.
Texas County Republican Central Committee Chairwoman Diane Krantz thanked everyone responsible for the evening, and introduced the Texas County Republican officials present for the evening.
CWO Rudy Blahnik led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and Brett Adam led the singing of the national anthem.
Pastor Villapiano recognized veterans and law enforcement personnel, both current and retired, for their service to our country. CWO Blahnik followed with an explanation of the significance of the MIA/POW table
Pastor Villapiano spoke of the nature of our republic, with no monarch, “No king, other than Jesus.” His message emphasized the importance of being united under one king, Jesus, following absolute truths, and cautioned that we not allow the King to become a figurehead instead of a true sovereign.
After the delicious meal, served by SpiceBerry Flowers & Catering of Mtn. Grove, Pastor Villapiano invited Will Wheeler from Sen. Roy Blunt’s office to speak. Wheeler expressed Sen. Blunts’ wishes that he could have been present for the evening and shared brief comments about the growth of our economy. Wheeler asked for support for Republican candidates in 2020.
Cathy Jo Loy and Ray Rehder spoke about the Fair Missouri initiative. The House has passed a joint resolution and the Senate will be looking at it next.
Loy explained, “Fair Missouri is the pushback on the redistricting of Clean Missouri.”
Rehder explained that with the redistricting of Clean Missouri, “their goal is to turn every single district in the state that they possibly can into a 50/50 Republican and Democrat district.”
In districts that are strongly Republican or Democrat, and which are surrounded by other districts of like-minded voters, this would eliminate the contiguous nature of districts and result in “spokes” extending between urban areas and rural areas. Elected officials would be representing areas with diverse and opposing values and interests.
Photo by Shari Harris
State Representative Robert Ross addressed the crowd.

Representative Robert Ross of the 142nd District addressed the gathering. Ross has been in office seven years and is the only representative to chair two committees, the Professional Registration and Licensing and the Government Oversight and Accountability committees. He reports he has been working to reduce unfair regulations for state licenses and to make sure government is accountable to taxpayers. Rep. Ross expressed his top concerns for our country as our debt, securing our borders, protecting life and protecting second amendment rights. 
Photo by Shari Harris
State Senator Michael Cunningham applauded the local Republicans for their great turnout.
Sen. Mike Cunningham, 33rd District, followed Rep. Ross and spoke of how positive it was for the tables at the event to be full in a non-election year, and for the Republican Officials in the county to be present to show their appreciation for the support of the voters. He voiced his appreciation of Gov. Parson’s rural values.
Photo by Shari Harris
U.S. Representative Jason Smith was the keynote speaker for the evening and rallied the crowd with his report on the status of affairs in Washington, D.C.
 The keynote speaker of the evening was U.S. Rep. Jason Smith from Missouri’s 8th District. Rep. Smith began by thanking everyone for their support, getting over 80 percent of Texas County’s vote. He stated that the Texas County Lincoln Day is one of the most well attended Lincoln Days in his district.
Rep. Smith expressed concern over the price of Democrat supported plans. At an estimated $93 trillion price tag, the Green Deal would be more than four times the current national debt. Universal health care would have a $32 trillion price tag.
Rep. Smith spoke of the difficulty of the fight in a Democrat-controlled House for the lives of unborn and born babies, and the National Resource Committee trying to remove “so help me God” from the oath for office.
Regarding border security, Rep. Smith related a conversation with a Texas-based Border Control Officer. Smith continued that the officer related that in the several weeks prior, “they had detained…50 different people illegally crossing the border from 50 different countries, countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia. These are countries that know that our southern borders are porous.”
Rep. Smith praised President Trump, stating, “He has done a lot of great things for our country.” He spoke of his personal interactions with President Trump, adding, “He’s one of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever worked with.”
Smith pointed out the importance of the 8th congressional district’s vote in support of Hawley in 2018, counteracting the McCaskill vote in St. Louis. He emphasized the importance of continuing to support Republican candidates at each election, and of sharing the message with friends and neighbors.
After the keynote address, Chairwoman Krantz presented a Certificate of Appreciation, which was accepted by Doyle Heiney on behalf of himself and his wife, Treena Heiney, who was unable to be there. Other events of the evening included a silent auction and raffle. Elijah and Sam Adams sang “Proud to be an American.”
In addition to the fundraising, the interaction during the initial social hour between officials and the citizens they represent was a vital part of the evening. A large number of local and state elected officials were present, and all took the time to speak to attendees individually. Based on this fact alone, the 2019 Lincoln Day was a success, and the future of the Republican Party in Texas County appears to remain promising.

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