On Monday night, the Fayette County Republicans’ Lincoln Day dinner featured Ohio’s 51st Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, as the speaker and attracted approximately 260 guests.
The dinner was hosted by the Fayette County Republican Party and was held at the Fayette County Fairgrounds’ Mahan Building. The decor for the event featured flowers as centerpieces, red and blue tablecloths, flags hung behind and around a podium, along with paper bags at every seat filled with advertising purchased by local Republican political candidates.
As previously reported, LaRose took office as Secretary of State on Jan. 14. He served two terms in the State Senate prior to being elected to statewide office. In his role as Ohio’s chief elections officer, LaRose is working to ensure Ohio’s elections are secure, accessible and accurate, according to his bio. He also serves as the sole authority to receive and approve articles of incorporation for Ohio businesses.
During his speech, LaRose touched on many topics including the work the state (and his office) is doing in securing Ohio elections, that Republican women make the party run, Democrats, socialism, that Republicans shoudn’t tear each other down, veterans being able to continue protecting the Constitution by being poll workers, and the right to vote needing to be taken seriously and exercised.
“If you look at how far left the other party’s gone, I think you can safely say that we have a real contrast between the two visions of the two major parties in this country,” he said. “If you can tolerate sitting through the hour and a half of one of their debates, what you’re going to see is a party that has really abandoned the Midwest. Folks like us in Ohio that work for a living. They have become beholden to extreme East and West coast ideologies.”
He then spoke of people walking away from the Democratic party and that “we, as Republicans, can proudly claim that we’re the party of working-class men and women.”
Socialism, according to LaRose, essentially used to be viewed as negatively as racism and “you didn’t want the title ‘socialist’ hanging around your necks,” yet there are now Democratic nominees claiming to be socialists.
After talking about how Democrats want to paint the Republicans as angry and hateful, he requested that Republicans not tear each other down to give the Democrats more material.
“We’re not any of those things,” said LaRose. “We’re the party that believes in human freedom in its fullest, and human potential — unbridled. That’s something to be happy about. We should have a smile on our face. We should greet one another with confidence and with joy as we’re talking about the issues that our party stands for.”
He then spoke about how much work and effort that has been made in the state being undone by a liberal Supreme Court if the Republican majority is lost.
LaRose also took the time to compliment the local board of elections and to thank several people.
State Supreme Court candidate Judi French was also a speaker at the dinner.
She spoke of the Republican candidates for the legislature. According to French, if both Republican candidates, including herself, lose, then Democrats will have a 4-3 majority.
French explained that she is a “nice person,” is a mom, a wife, cares “deeply” for Ohio, etc.
She further explained that she has travelled to all 88 counties in Ohio several times to help spread the conservative message.
According to French, she has been to numerous Lincoln Day dinners throughout the state and the one she attended locally on Monday night was one of the biggest.
“It shows a lot of enthusiasm here in Fayette County,” said French.
Dan Roberts, former Miami Trace Local Schools Superintendent, was the master of ceremony for the event.
The caterer was Amanda Ivey and The Farmer’s Pantry.
“The meal tonight was absolutely delicious,” said Roberts.
Although Barry Pettit from Southside Church of Christ was planned to be the pastor for the event, he was unable to attend and asked John Pfeifer from The Gathering Place to take over for the event.
Students from Fayette Christian schools, Miami Trace Local Schools and Washington Court House City Schools attended the event to lead in the Pledge of Allegiance and in the National Anthem.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.