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MARCH 25, 2010

Clearwater Republicans hear candidates’ views at Lincoln Day Dinner

By Charlie Pottenger

   Around 200 Clearwater County Republicans gathered at the Orofino National Guard Armory Friday evening to enjoy a buffet dinner and listen to elected officials and prospective candidates express views relating to the current political climate in the County, State and Federal realms.

   Clearwater County Republican Chairman, Ed Galloway, and Master of Ceremony, introduced all dignitaries including Governor Butch Otter and Senator Mike Crapo.  Vice Chairman, Pete Curfman auctioned off political memorabilia.

   Attendance was high as the current political situation has energized many concerned with the future of the republic as was detailed in the keynote speech delivered by Larry Baxter and underlined in a detailed description of problems seen in the country delivered in a special speech by Phil Seubert, Cottonwood. It was clear that those attending were energized to work for their candidates in preparation for the November 2010 Election.

Gov. Otter speaks

   Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter gave a brief presentation describing the condition of the State of Idaho. The crowd cheered when he reported that he had signed legislation instructing the State Attorney General to file a Constitutional Challenge to the U. S. Health Care Law if it contains mandatory health insurance.

   Senator Mike Crapo reflected on the current conditions existing in Washington, D.C. and observed that he had never seen more threats to the country than exist at the current time. He was headed back to the capital for Sunday’s votes.

   In addition, all other elected officials and candidates were asked to speak briefly. Those speaking were Lt. Governor Brad Little; Congressional Primary candidates vying for Congressman Walt Minnick’s seat, Vaughn Ward, Raul Labrador and Dr. Alan Saulzburg; State Controller Donna Jones (did not speak) and State Controller challenger Todd Hatfield. State GOP Chairman Norm Semanko urged Republicans to be involved in 2010 elections.

   Also speaking and describing their qualifications for the Idaho Supreme Court were Judge John Bradbury, who is challenging for position currently held by Supreme Court Justice Roger Burdick; Roger Burdick and Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones. It is important to note that Supreme Court elections conclude with the primary in May 2010 so these candidates, whom are non-partisan, are attending both Republican and Democratic gatherings seeking support.

   Other local candidates and officials observed attending the Lincoln Day function were Commissioner Stan Leach, Sheriff Chris Geotz, and Dave King, who is running against Dawn Erlewine for the position of Clearwater County Treasurer. This office is being vacated by Jeannie Johnson who is retiring after 18 years.

   The buffet and event were served and bussed by students from Orofino High School’s “Youth Legislative Club” and “We the People”. These organizations provide students opportunities to experience republican government processes in preparation for life in these United States.