Skip to comments.GOP members gather at Lincoln-Reagan Dinner
Posted on 02/12/2012 6:11:19 PM PST by Optimist
Republicans gathered in St. Joseph Saturday night regarded differences within their party not as fractiousness but a sign of good health leading to this years elections.
Gathered at the annual Buchanan County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the St. Joseph Country Club, GOP officeholders and office-seekers called the party energized statewide and nationally.
The fact that so many races have produced hard-fought primaries only means a broader base of support for the general elections against Democrats, they said.
Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said primaries prove a testing ground for candidates at all levels.
I think well see that in the (U.S.) Senate primary in Missouri, I think well see that in the presidential primaries, and all these candidates will be better because of the process, he said.
Bill Randles, a candidate for Missouri governor, said Republicans come together once a nominee has been decided.
I think a vigorous primary on the issues is healthy, the Kansas City Republican said. The Democrats had one in 2008 between (Hillary) Clinton and (Barack) Obama, and they had no trouble getting back together.
About 125 people attended the event, which attracted Republican candidates who wanted to share their message and stoke the party faithful.
State Sen. Brad Lager, the evenings keynote speaker, said the party remains united in trying to get government out of the lives of citizens.
Weve got to get back to relying on the private sector to deliver the solutions for the challenges before us, the Savannah Republican said. This country is great in spite of government, not because of it.
Mr. Blunt said Missourians and all Americans understand the need to create private sector jobs. He also said, The president is quickly adding to that the issue of what do we do to have a government that doesnt believe that they control everything in our lives.
John Brunner, a candidate wanting to win the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, said Congress continues to pass laws that weigh on Americans and stifle job creation.
The problem is not the laws, the 84 that were passed last year, but the daily regulations that are coming out of the executive branch, the candidate said. Theyre barely hanging on in this economy, and now they have to follow another rule.
Gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence, a first-time office-seeker like Mr. Brunner, believes voters are weary of career politicians.
What they really want to see us do is move forward and be a leader versus a laggard, which is what weve been as a state, Mr. Spence said.
Fellow state Sens. Bill Stouffer and Scott Rupp, both running for Missouri secretary of state, said they think the party is geared up for the campaign season.
Theyre ready to change whats happening across the United States, Mr. Stouffer said. They cant make it another four years with Obama.
Mr. Rupp added, Were seeing movement among young people, people who have been engaged for a long time, new people coming in and saying, How can I help?
Not everyone sang the same tune Saturday night. Members of the Occupy St. Joseph movement, Nick Brothers and Cory Stephens, stood on the frigid roadside near the Country Club entrance holding signs that read Money is Not Speech and The Mega-Banks Buy Congress and Foreclose Homes.
Pointing to the Country Club fence, Mr. Brothers said, Democracy should be about one person exercising one vote, not a group of people in a very lovely, barbed wire-enclosed compound trading money back and forth.
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