Republicans unify to support local candidates


JASPER — The Dubois County Republican Party rallied its base Saturday afternoon to support upcoming candidates on the local, state and national level.


“We have good, high quality candidates running,” State Rep. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, said during the party’s Lincoln Day Luncheon at KlubHaus 61. “We have to use this momentum to get them elected. We have to unify and have a solid mission to move ahead and into the fall.”

Messmer is chairman of the local party.

The annual dinner is a fundraiser for the local party to help support its slate of local candidates.

This year’s guest speaker was incumbent U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., who is running for re-election. He talked about the issues with passing some policy in Washington, D.C. and cited the U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule, in which 60 of the 100 available Senate votes are needed to pass legislation.

Bucshon touched on several national topics, including military funding, tax reform, and the investigation into Russia’s role in meddling in the last U.S. presidential election. He talked most about the Republican legislators’ efforts to remove and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to repeal and replace the act, but it did not get through the U.S. Senate, he said.

“In the Senate, you have some liberal Republicans,” he said. “So that’s why this race (against incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly) is so important.”

Three candidates are running in the Republican primary to challenge Donnelly in the fall race. One of the three, Mike Braun, was at Saturday’s dinner and said that he is running because he is tired of how the national government system runs.

“But if you don’t step up and do something, things won’t change,” he told the group.

Bucshon compared former President Barack Obama with current President Donald Trump, and indicated that the policies that Trump wants to implement are what’s best for U.S. citizens.

“Obama was a liberal, leftist president, trying to stop what we wanted to do,” he said. “President Trump represents what the people want, a more conservative approach.”

That want is also on the local level, Messmer said, reminding the audience that local Republican candidates won all the races they sought in 2016, the last time there were local races. He told the local Republican candidates at the luncheon that the secret to winning is to meet the people you want to serve face to face.

“It’s on the ground and talking to people, door to door,” he said. “You can spend all the money you want. But if you haven’t done the work on the ground, you’re not going to win.”

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