By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — The 2021 Republican Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday was perhaps the most attended in several years and the first time when all living past chairmen were present and recognized. Marsha McSherry was also recognized for her 20 years of service on the Republican Central Committee.
The event was held at The Owl’s Nest CR 800N, North Webster, with 215 in attendance. Besides local supporters, attendees included District 2 and District 3 Republican officers, county chairmen from other districts, legislators from nine different districts, county and local officeholders, chamber representatives and candidates for Kosciusko County Council District 1, sheriff and Indiana Treasurer.
Indiana Treasurer candidate Suzane Jaworowski was present, along with potential candidate Elise Nieshalla.
U.S. Sen. Todd Young was the keynote speaker (see article and video). Other speakers included Secretary of State Holli Sullivan, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, former White House Aide Pete Seat and U.S. Ambassador Kip Tom. Seat took the opportunity during his remarks to announce his candidacy for state treasurer.
The seven past chairman in attendance included Jean Northerner, Rex Reed, Mike Miner, Mike Gavin, Aaron Rovenstine, Randy Girod and current chairman Mike Ragan. It was noted Northerner was the longest-serving chairman and McSherry began her time on the central committee as secretary under Northerner. McSherry later became vice-chair.
Sullivan’s brief remarks focused on the fact the state had a stellar 2020 election and gave credit to the local election team, but noted “we can always make our process better and we will do that together.”
She noted Indiana elections are transparent and secure, being one of the first in the nation to have cyber security as part of the elections. She also announced she will be running for state secretary in 2022.
Walorski credited Kosciusko County for her success in remaining in office. She related two stories. One story pertained to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needing an elevator but the only one available was occupied by Walorski. “I look at her, she looks at me, grunts and runs down the stairs.”
Another story was about her participation in a prayer vigil when she suddenly heard a car. She recalled hearing the car accelerate and head in her direction.
“I stood there. I thought to myself if ever there was a moment in my mind, I decided something bad could happen, I’m going to stand here any way.” She said the driver stood on the brakes and stopped 2 feet from her knees. “I was furious. I decided that day … I dare anybody to come up, challenge me and take me on, for standing up for the unborn children.”
She also noted there are a lot of things happening that have never happened before in the country. “I will continue to stand and be vocal.”
She also promised to keep constituents updated on an investigation by the capital police. Additionally, she noted how the House Republicans are losing every vote and there is no way to break through.
Walorski also touted the fact that a large number of Republican governors moved to cut short additional unemployment payments.
Seat, who left the White House 12 years ago at the age of 25, spoke of the need for those his age to stand up, fill out applications to serve. He called his generation the Now Generation. He also talked about traveling to various countries and how they will “never experience the freedom, prosperity, safety/security and capitalism” that Americans have. He noted these four values are concepts he holds dear to his heart.
Tom, who served as the United Nations Ambassador to Rome-based organizations, talked of how he received that position and his experience. He shared what he had seen, talked about the world food program and the immediate humanitarian need around the world.
He shared several bleak stories but noted “there are opportunities, there is hope. We can make a difference …”
He announced in September he will be leading a delegation of leaders in the agriculture and food industry to Sudan. This is to encourage investment, create jobs and improve the economy to start with food security.