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Record Numbers Attend Brown County GOP Lincoln Reagan Dinner
Thanks to our guests, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, 8th District Congressman Mike Gallagher and special guest Ohio Congressman, Jim Jordan, the Republican Party of Brown County had a record setting Lincoln Reagan Dinner. This years theme celebrated our Constitution & We the People!
While attending this year’s Republican State Convention, “Defend America,” U.S. Senator Ron Johnson electrified the convention floor with his message of: “Spread the Truth, Unify, Run for Public Office.” As your Chairman, that message resonated with me, and I immediately thought about our annual caucus and the initiatives we brought forth to our membership back in January. Did they measure up to the clarion call from Wisconsin’s Senior Senator? Having had time to reflect, our Executive Team can honestly say we are up to the task of meeting those three challenges.
Let’s first look at, “Spreading the truth.” We launched a series of legislative-led “Pints & Politics” forums, on critical issues impacting families in Northeastern Wisconsin. We shared the truth, not often found in our legacy media on a wide range of issues. State Representative David Steffen kicked off the series updating those in attendance on proposed election law changes, to rid the election process of outside influence and money and restore the integrity of the ballot box. Senator Andre Jacque conducted a discussion on Right to Life issues declaring we must stop the senseless killing of defenseless babies. This was followed by School Choice and Critical Race Theory events.
As we reflected on the enthusiastic support for these events, one thing became abundantly clear. We have grown tired of the “cancel culture” and “woke antics” pushed by the opposition party. We are energized, ready, willing, and able to take back our country, and restore the American dream. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “America is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.” And we are seeing enthusiasm and engagement unlike ever before right here in Brown County. On the heels of 213 new members in 2020 we have added 71 new members so far this year. Throughout the County, we are seeing record attendance and support as we continue to provide that “beacon of hope” for Brown County voters.
Second, “Unify.” A strong party organization realizes and appreciates the diversity of opinion held by its membership. Speaking freely in support of a candidate you back is a constitutional right. We saw this in the Special Election primary for the 89th Assembly seat, ultimately won by Elijah Behnke. Five candidates vied for the general election, and we had members who supported each of the five candidates. That is healthy for a party! We ultimately are stronger when we share our thoughts and beliefs, come to a consensus opinion, and coalesce, behind the candidate chosen by the electorate. That’s what happened and we ultimately retained the seat long held by John Nygren.
My friends, defeat can be difficult, especially when we are heavily invested and feel the election was taken from us by outside or illegitimate forces. However, we can ill-afford to fracture off into smaller groups. That’s a sure-fire strategy for defeat! We must work out our issues and stand united and strong and double down on our desire to defeat the opposition.
The events previously referred to bring us to our single most important initiative, “Run for Public Office.”
We have developed maps laying out the battle plan to restore conservative values and principles to non-partisan seats we are targeting in jurisdictions throughout the County. Its time "We the People" Take back our school boards and municipal government in the upcoming Spring elections!
We can be very proud of the work our Candidate Committee has done to date. Our Candidate Recruitment and Training Initiative is the envy of the State. Chairing this initiative is Marian Krumberger. Her team is well served by 8th District Chairwoman and De Pere Alder Kelly Ruh, Former Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno, Village of Hobart President and Executive Team member Rich Heidel, Village of Hobart Trustee David Dillenburg, and Executive Team member Andy Williams. Currently, 28 candidates have come forward to look at our program and four have committed to run. Training happens twice a month and support is offered to those who choose to run for office.
Growing up in Northern Wisconsin I became involved in politics at an early age, right out of high school, becoming a three-term member of the Ashland City Council. Along the way, I had the opportunity to meet then State Representative Tommy Thompson. I’ll never forget the advice he gave me as a candidate for state office, “You can’t win an election in an off year, but you sure as heck can lose it.” My friends and fellow Republicans, there are no off years. We must remain vigilant and focused on the 2022 election cycle, find a new Mayor for Green Bay, and turn the Governorship of Wisconsin Red.
In closing, I challenge our membership asking two simple questions, where do you see yourself fitting in, and how will you help us carry out our mission? If you know someone who should become a member, invite them to join, the four newsletters alone are worth the 30.00-dollar individual membership fee. If you want to help fund our Candidate Recruitment and Training Initiative, consider making a donation or become a member at the $1,000 Patriot level.
Maybe you would like to help preserve the integrity of the ballot box and become a poll worker. Our Poll Worker initiative is led by Executive Committee Secretary, Vicky Gilsoul. If you would like to be a poll worker over the next biennium, from January 1st of 2022 to December 31 of 2023, please contact our office at 920-430-2005 to let us know. We would be happy to appoint you.
I am honored to serve as your chairman and thank you for taking the time to read the recap of our dinner. Thanks go out to our Lincoln Reagan Dinner Committee led by Chairwoman, Victoria Sobeck and her team, Connie Streckenbach, Vicky Gilsoul, Ken Lenss, Todd O Dell, Lloyd Miller, Marian Krumberger & Patty Payette. This year has been a record setting year and we look forward to the 2022 election cycle and the victory that lies ahead for our party and more importantly the United States of America!
From the Chairman...
James "Fitz" Fitzgerald