Jun 242015

by Clay Herrmann

The Garland County Lincoln Day Dinner, an annual soiree/fundraiser for the Republican Party, was held Tuesday evening, June 23, 2015 at the Regency Banquet and Special Event Facility in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Matt McKee, Justice of the Peace for District 9 and current Garland County Republican Party Chairman served as emcee for the event.

Carol Chatham successfully bore a heavy burden as 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner Chairman, responsible for organizing, promoting, and other event related preparations as needed.

Tickets were $55 each before June 16th and $65 at the door. Additionally both a silent auction and a live auction of donated items conducted by auctioneer Steve Thacker (Arkansas Auction Group & Realty) contributed substantially to the proceeds.

Keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, delivered an animated and rousing speech. At his conclusion he emphatically urged his audience to “hold elected officials accountable” (including those wearing the Republican label) and to “demand excellence”.

Brad & Sarah Smith

Garland County Clerk Sarah Smith and husband Brad Smith were in attendance. Sarah will be guest speaker/presenter, along with Saline County Clerk Doug Curtis, at the July 7, 2015 Hot Springs Village TEA Party Luncheon Program at Charlie’s Pizza Pub near the HWY 7N HSV main entrance.

Candidates and prospective candidates, including current office holders who will be seeking reelection in 2016, will have opportunity to get clarification from Sarah and Doug about the new Primary Election calendar, and related issues. This year the 90-day window for Independent Candidates to secure the minimum number of Garland County registered voter candidate petition signatures to get on the ballot begins this August 11 and ends on the last day of the filing week for political Party Candidates,  November 9, 2015.

With a March 1, 2016 Primary election date, and two weeks of early voting starting in the middle of February, Arkansas voters can expect more of a voice in the upcoming Presidential Primaries and more attention to Arkansas by the Presidential candidates. That’s a note of good news … that we will matter more. Bad news is candidates have to be decided that they will run nearly a full year before the election … plus everyone will have to endure an even longer political season with political signage cluttering the landscape, print ads, radio ads, TV ads, internet ads, meet-the-candidate events, and all the rest.


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