Republicans gather for Lincoln Day Dinner


SIDNEY — Nearly 100 attendees at the Lincoln Day Dinner on April 20 at the Shelby Oaks Golf Club. This annual celebration is named after the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, and honors the rich heritage of the Republican Party while simultaneously focusing on the future of the county, state and nation.

Chairman Dan Cecil kicked off the presentations by recapping major events in the previous year, beginning with the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe Vs Wade in June 2022. Cecil said the Supreme Court had gotten it wrong nearly 50 years earlier and there never was a federal right to an abortion codified in the US Constitution. With improper federal interference in state abortion laws now removed, Cecil said this is the nature of the times in which Americans are living.

Winning Republican super-majorities in both the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate last November, the Ohio Legislature was positioned to make Ohio a pro-life leader in the nation, said Cecil. Ohio’s pro-life status was jeopardized, he said, when Rep. Jason Stephens joined forces with the Democrat minority to get elected as Speaker of the House in January.

Cecil recounted the uphill battle the conservative, pro-life Republicans have been fighting ever since Stephens became speaker. Cecil encouraged attendees to redouble their efforts in the fight for life in Ohio, pointing them to as one place to go to learn how they might join in this fight for life.

Featured speakers Sharon Kennedy, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and Tim Barhorst, Shelby County’s representative in the Ohio House of Representatives, each gave talks. Topics of discussion included the heritage of the Republican Party, the working relationships within and between the various branches of Ohio government,and the status of legislation in the Ohio House and Senate. Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman joined Kennedy and Barhorst on stage for a town-hall style question and answer session.

The night was capped off with the presentation of annual awards. Doug Jackson, who passed away unexpectedly in February, was posthumously recognized as the Shelby County Republican Central Committee Member of the Year. Jackson’s daughter Sigga Westberg and her husband Scott Westberg were in attendance to accept the award on Jackson’s behalf. The Republican of the Year honors went to Jim and Theresa Kerg for their many years of leadership and conservative activism in the county, state and nation.

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