Republican Party faithful gather for Lincoln Day Dinner.

May 9, 2017
Congressman Huizenga speaks at the Mason County GOP dinner.

Congressman Huizenga speaks at the Mason County GOP dinner.

Republican Party faithful gather for Lincoln Day Dinner.

#MasonCountPolitics.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP — About 100 people gathered Monday night at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Ludington for the Mason County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

The GOP is still coming off a high from the November general election in which Republicans won control of the White House, both houses of Congress,  and most local and Michigan state races.

“We appreciate your solid steel resolve in bringing victory to our state, our nation and our party,” Carolyn Cater, chairperson of the Mason County Republican executive committee, told the party faithful.

Cater

Cater

Cater said the Republican Party is happy about the recent election and with President Trump’s job performance, but they are already starting to focus their attention on the 2018 election.

“2018 is going to be the lynchpin of last year’s success,” she said. “It’ll be the stranglehold on the ever-weakening left and the final hour on the Democratic Party.

“Next year is another important election for Republicans,” Carter told Mason County Press. “In Michigan, we’ll elect a new governor and try to put up a candidate to defeat Debbie Stabenow in the U.S. Senate.”  

In addition, 2018 will also feature races for U.S. Congress, State House and State Senate. Former 101st District State Representative Ray Franz of Onekama was in attendance at Monday’s Lincoln Day Dinner and has already announced his candidacy for State Senate.

West Michigan Congressman Bill Huizenga gave the keynote address Monday night. One of the main topics was the health care bill House Republicans recently approved to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“This bill gives the states the power to have the flexibility to figure out how they are going to cover people and to figure out what they are going to require,” Huizenga said. “The idea is to make sure that it’s not just coverage, but affordable coverage with truly greater access.  It’ll provide lower costs that cover more people that give consumers flexibility and choices so you don’t have a government bureaucrat deciding what coverage you should have.”

Franz

Franz

Huizenga said the most disheartening thing he’s experienced during his six years in Congress was when Republicans took their first health care bill off the table.

“I was afraid that we may have been showing that we couldn’t govern, that Republicans couldn’t come together and figure out a solution.”

He said he’s happy House Republicans were able to move ahead and send a health care reform bill to the Senate.

Huizenga also praised President Trump and shared a story about a bill signing ceremony in the Oval Office for House Joint Resolution 41. The bill, which rolls back regulation on energy company payments, was authored by Huizenga and was the first legislative bill signed into law during the Trump presidency.

“It was pretty wild when the president was sitting at his desk and looked at me and said, ‘So, this is your baby? Do you want to help explain it to the media?’”

Huizenga said President Trump handed him a fact sheet and gave him a few minutes to review it before letting the press into the Oval Office.  

“It was interesting seeing him work,” Huizenga said about his time in the Oval Office with the President. “People were coming in and out of the office. It’s much more of an open office feel. You can tell that he’s got a business mind. He’s very open and wants people coming in and out.”

Speaking for just over an hour, Huizenga also spoke about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. President Trump’s proposed budget eliminates funding for the federal program. Calling the Great Lakes a jewel, Huizenga says we need to continue to protect the lakes and assured those who were in attendance that he will continue to fight for funding.

 

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