Day Dinner draws over 320 attendees
voices heard loud
at the Ripley County Lincoln Day Dinner held Wednesday, February
17 was at an all time high with enthusiasm to match as guest speaker
US Congressman Mike Pence (R) from District 6 took the podium.
After Pence was introduced by Denessa Benkie, Versailles, whom
he referred to as a rising star on the National Republican
Committee, he proclaimed, Republicans on Capitol Hill are
back! This brought thunderous applause from the more than
320 gathered at the Knights of Columbus facility in Batesville.
While Pence didnt dwell on what Republicans see as faults
of the present administration, he did point out that unemployment
is at an all time high and people are dissatisfied with representation
in the political world in Washington.
He referred to political shake-ups in states such as Virginia,
New Jersey, Massachusetts, and more recently Indiana, where Democratic
US Senator Evan Bayh made his announcement to leave the political
Pence told those at the event that Republicans need to stay focused
and offer real solutions. He said both political parties need
to dust off the Declaration and Constitution. He was
clear when he told the crowd he stood for the sanctity of life
and marriage between one man and one woman.
The crowd cheered to remarks Pence made that included saying America
is the envy of the world, citing ideals, freedom, limited government
and Christian values - some things he wants to see restored in
Pence didnt shy away from claiming Christian principles
as his own, quoting the Bible, Where the Spirit of the Lord
is - there is Liberty.
Ginger Bradford, Ripley County Republican Chair told The Versailles
Republican Pence was interrupted with applause more than any
speaker she could remember.
The evening was not only packed with attendees, but with a very
busy agenda. So many candidates were in attendance vying for state
positions in the primary that they were limited to three minutes
each to speak.
Speakers included State Representative Cleo Duncan who will not
be seeking re-election. After a lot of prayer we made the
decision not to run again, Duncan noted, thanking her husband,
who has been her stalwart supporter over the 16 years she has
Those in attendance who would like to fill Duncans seat
included: Tami Wenning (Decatur Co.), Cindy Ziemke (Franklin Co.),
and Randy Frye (Decatur Co.).
State Senator Johnny Nugent spoke to the crowd saying he couldnt
remember a Lincoln Day Dinner with so many in attendance. Were
coming together, he noted of the Republican party. He thanked
Duncan for her years of service saying she was a delight to work
Jud McMillan is on the Republican ticket for District 68 for State
Representative, and spoke his allowed time.
Charlie White, who is running for Secretary of State, also gave
a brief talk.
The seat for 9th District US Congressman that Democrat Baron Hill
now holds, will also see competition with three candidates speaking
at the Ripley County event. Mike Sodrel, who held the position
for one term spoke, along with Todd Young and Travis Hankins.
All gave a brief overview of their platform with Hankins garnering
the most interruptions for applause.
Bradford recognized present office holders and those in the running
for local open positions in the primary election.
Special music was heard by Pam Vollmer with dinner music provided
by Suspence DJ Service, operated by Spencer Huffmeyer, a student
at Jac-Cen-Del High School. The Batesville American Legion Color
Guard posted colors for the patriotic event.
Bradford thanked the K of C catering service for a wonderful meal,
the Republican Womens Club, headed by Earline Copeland,
and Rev. Don Buck of the Osgood First Baptist Church, for offering
The message of Pence rang clear as the local Republicans vowed
to take back some coveted seats and have a good time doing so.
ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTOS
Pictured above at the podium is US Congressman
Mike Pence, who was the featured speaker at the Lincoln
Day Dinner held at Batesville. Ripley County Republican
Chair Ginger Bradford looks on as he addressed one of the
largest crowds ever (pictured below) to attend one of these
events. The dinner was held at the K of C at Batesville
with over 320 attending.