Steve Foster, treasurer for the Kosciusko County Republican Party, received the Indiana Republican State Chairman’s Award, the highest honor for the state’s party.
The award was presented Thursday evening, at the annual Kosciusko County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, held in Warsaw.
State Chairman Eric Holcomb is presenting the award to one individual from each county throughout the state. The award is given to the individual the county chairman feels stands out in the county party, is always there, is that “Mr. Dependable,” always has a smile on his face, always says yes, takes care of the books, makes sure the yard sales are up, always knows when the county fair is going on, doesn’t always get all the recognition. Foster was immediately named.
Holcomb was the keynote speaker, briefly touching on where “we are at as a party, how we get there and where we are going.” Having attended many Lincoln Day Dinners already throughout the state, Holcomb noted the event is a “chance to come together to celebrate America’s first Republican President. “But really, it’s why we admire President Lincoln so much. I think it has something to do with his command or his way with words, of course his leadership, which I think we all could agree, is unsurpassed to this day.”
Holcomb provided a quote of “pure genius,” in the Gettysburg address: “Now we are engaged in a create civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might life. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”
He spoke of the concern, if not worry, if the party loses again in the 2016 Presidential election, “We won’t just be losing the Presidential election, we might just be losing a bit of America’s soul with it. And so, it’s becoming more and more obvious, by the day that this president, instruments in his administration, wants us to have less liberty … want us to have less freedom … and in our personal lives. His policies do just the opposite. They encourage more dependability …”
Noting it was true in Lincoln’s time, “It’s up to us, here and now. Lincoln always used to talk about a ‘here and now’ … best days lay ahead.” He noted it is known if those days lay ahead “we can get back to the practice of our founding principles, we know they work, they’ve been tested throughout time.”
Holcomb quoted Thomas Jackson, a Democrat president, “When it comes to an issues of style swim like the current. But when it comes issues of principles, stand like a rock.”
Encouragement was stressed to not squander the next opportunity and to be prepared to lead. He may of been eluding to a potential candidate for President when he stated, “Who better to lead than a Hoosier Republican.” Holcomb then switched to the success the state had under the leadership of Gov. Mitch Daniels and continues to have, beefing up programs while neighboring states are cutting programs.
He noted how the county and state are “blessed” to have Sens. Dan Coats and Marlin Stutzman and Rep. Jackie Walorski, serving and representing. “It is really quite an advantage, having them on the court with the ball, leading discussion about how to get us out of this mess … They are on the scene, with the ball, doing exactly what we need them to do … don’t know how their patience, how they do it sometimes. I think about the Obama, (Nancy) Pelosi, (Jack) Reed trio … just knowing that their there and if Jackie and Marlin can’t get through to that trio, no one can,” he said.
“Practicing the Indiana Republican platform is a sweet way to get back on track,” Holcomb stated.
Five suggestions were given on what the party can do between now and the next Presidential election: intelligently and relentlessly talk about the party’s mission, how they are going to grow our economy and provide an opportunity for all; offer credible Republican solutions with bold suggestions, how to solve problems; contract with America 2.0 with a less politic position; better connect with everyone regardless of current station in life; and lastly, take care of some housekeeping by moving the national convention date up, update technical data, reduce number of debate by hostile media.
“If we do those five general things … we’ll be off to a great start on our mission.”
He was reminded of a quote by the late Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, “‘Win the argument today and the votes will come tomorrow.’ She was, of course, right.”
Also speaking briefly on successes in the past legislative year were Secretary of State Connie Lawson, State Reps. Rebecca Kubacki and Dave Wolkins, and State Sen. Randy Hand. Messages were also heard from Walorski and Stutzman through representatives.