Republicans gather on Lincoln Day

U.S. Congressman Jason Smith (R-8th District) was the keynote speaker for the Iron County Republicans’ Lincoln Day gathering Saturday at Thee Abbey Kitchen in Arcadia.

Local Republicans gathered Saturday at Thee Abbey Kitchen in Arcadia for the 2019 Lincoln Day event.

A number of statewide office holders attended, including Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, and keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Jason Smith.

The event is designed for comaraderie and to look forward to the 2020 elections.

Local and state officials basically introduced themselves and the services of their respective offices, but the heavy lifting of outlining the upcoming election issues was taken up by Rep. Smith.

Western Associate County Commissioner Joshua Campbell served as Master of Ceremonies for the event and was not the only elected official to note that Iron County has gained Republican officeholders.

“Iron County has changed,” said Rep. Smith. “You (Campbell) were part of that first wave that helped transform the community. The key is having quality candidates that represent our values.

“When I was running for Congress, the first time, back in 2013, the DC Republican team said, ‘You won’t win Iron County.  You won’t win Ste. Genevieve County.’

“They had four counties they said I wouldn’t win and I said, ‘I have to win Iron County. It borders my home county of Dent and I have family in Iron County. I can’t lose it.’

“They said, ‘Well, you will.’

“We won it, but this past election we got 67 percent in this county, that is supposed to be a Democratic County.”

Smith noted that several counties in the 8th Congressional District never had Republican office holders.

“We elected our first Republican office-holder in Ste. Genevieve County in this last election,” Smith told the group, “We are going to elect more in Reynolds County.

“When I took office, Iron County had zero Republican office holders.

“When Bill Emerson got elected in 1980, our district had one Republican state lawmaker, zero Republican state senators. After this last election, for the first time in the history of this state, every one of our state reps and every one of our state senators are now Republican.”

The congressman turned his attention to the opposition.

“This is my 101st day serving in a Democrat-controlled Socialist government,” he said.  “It has not been fun. I can tell you right now what I have been experiencing with Nancy Pelosi as speaker and with the new freshmen takeover of (New York Rep.) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and (Minnesota Rep. Ilhan) Omar to lead. There is not a Democrat in Iron County, there is not a Democrat in the 8th Congressional District that shares those values. Not one.

“Not only do they (Democrats) oppose securing the border, they want to take down existing walls.

“President Trump said it best when he said, ‘We don’t build walls because we hate the people outside. We bill walls because we love the people inside.’

“Did you know the Border Patrol has found passports along the southern border of people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan – none of those countries are in Central or South America. It is because people know it is a porous border and they can cross. We need to know who comes in and out of our country.

“What the Democrats are doing right now with the proposal, The Green New Deal - you know what that would do to every farmer in the 8th District? Not one tractor would be compliant. Get rid of all my cows because we can’t stop them from eliminating gasses. You’re not ever going to be able to get on a plane. Your going to have to rebuild your home because it is not energy-efficient to their standards.”

Rep. Smith said “universal, government-controlled health care” would be too expensive and too restrictive.

“They have another proposal – universal, government controlled health care with a price tag of $32 trillion.

“Out of 320 million Americans, 185 million would lose their health care. No longer would you have a choice of what doctor you want or provider you want to go to.

“It is unrealistic, it is radical, it is extreme.”

The congressman reserved praise for Donald Trump.

“He has been to our state more than any other President except for Harry S Truman,” Rep. Smith said. “What you see on television is not the person I see when I talk to him. He works hard and he cares about our values and what we believe in.  Kinda communicates a little bit differently than I do, but he does a great job.

“I’m thankful that our party is in control of the United States Senate and I’m thankful that President Trump is also there. That is why the 2020 elections are so important.  Hopefully, we will win back the House of Representatives.  If you listen to the fake news and they think the Republicans can’t take back the House, they are wrong.

“In the state of Missouri, we pretty well have all of our statewide office holders up for election except for our two U.S. Senators and our State Auditor. Continue to increase the margins here in Iron County. Talk to your friends and neighbors and use social media – it is a great tool.”