Holcomb stresses workforce, praises local leadershipMarch 25, 2019
By ALLEN LAMAN
HUNTINGBURG — Big names visited the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday afternoon, when Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Senator Mike Braun spoke to a crowd of about 100 people at the Dubois County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.
Braun gave a brief speech in which he recalled memories from his successful 2018 Senate campaign, and detailed the motivation he has to make an impact during his six-year term. Holcomb took part in a conversational interview led by State Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, who also serves as the county’s Republican party chairman.
In that back and forth, Holcomb said his vision for the Hoosier state is simple: He wants Indiana to be the best state in the country that offers growth opportunities for individuals, families and communities.
“And if we can continue to connect people with the resources so that they can take it to the next level, good things happen,” he said.
Holcomb said the biggest opportunity he sees for Indiana comes in systemically scaling up the state’s workforce. He stressed the importance of quality of place and introducing investors to the great communities across the state, and he also praised local leadership for actively tackling projects — like the push for the potential construction of the Midstates Corridor highway — and working harmoniously with the state government.
In an interview with The Herald shortly before the event, Holcomb voiced his support for the proposed $2.5 billion direct coal hydrogenation plant that could one day come to the nearby Spencer County town of Dale.
“I absolutely support moving forward,” he said when asked about the project. “It needs to be done responsibly. That’s what the various agencies — both state and federal — have to ensure, that it’s done right.”
He continued: “We’ve long been pioneers here in the state of Indiana, where we’ve forged our way out of the forest and forged our future, so to speak. And obviously, energy sources are critically important to making the state of Indiana an attractive place to invest. But is has to be done responsibly, it has to be done by our high standards. We have to be assured that we have clean soil, clean water, clear air, and this can be done.”
In his speech, Braun thanked attendees for helping him reach his current position, and he spoke proudly of his home.
He currently serves on U.S. Senate committees that hone environmental and public works; health, education, labor and pensions; aging; agriculture, nutrition and forestry; and, most important to him, budgeting.
“One of the things that keeps you sane out east [in Washington, D.C.] is to know that you come from a great community like this, and a great state like Indiana,” Braun, of Jasper, said in his speech. “[I] refer to it all the time.”
Messmer explained after the annual occasion that the dinner is the county Republican Party’s biggest fundraiser. The governor speaks at the event every five to 10 years.
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