Political dinners planned for fall

As summer turns to fall, area political parties are slated to hold annual dinners that promise to bring some big names to the area.

For the Washington County Republican Party’s annual Reagan Dinner, the guest speaker will be David Barton.

Leslie Haas, executive committee chairwoman, said Barton is an engaging speaker.

“We were tickled when we were able to work out the Barton connection through (Rep.) Andy Thompson,” said Haas. “He’s a national speaker and leader in the conservative movement…He’s an engaging speaker…and (one everyone) is going to enjoy.”

Barton is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a national organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on moral, religious and constitutional heritage.

He has received numerous national and international awards, including Who’s Who in Education, DAR’s Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. His work in media has merited several Angel Awards, Telly Awards and the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval.

The dinner will be held on Sept. 18 at the Marietta Shrine building, 249 Pennsylvania Ave., with a silent auction at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30.

“We will have the various candidates in attendance,” Haas said. “We’ll have Justice Sharon Kennedy and Justice Judith French, as well as Rick Walters and Yolan Dennis. In addition to greeting people, they will also speak.”

Haas said that ticket sales have reached more than 200.

“Ticket sales have been phenomenal,” she said. “There are people (coming) from other counties, Columbus and up north about two to three hours away. Word has gotten out beautifully.”

Tickets can still be purchased, but space is limited.

On the other side of the coin, the Washington County Democratic Party will host its annual fall dinner in mid-October.

“Right now ours is slated for Oct. 17,” said Democratic party chairwoman Willa O’Neill. “We left a little wiggle room depending on if our statewide candidates are available.”

She said several local candidates have already accepted and will speak at the dinner.

“Of course we will have Jennifer Garrison; she’s running for Congress,” said O’Neill. “We’ll have Debbie Phillips who’s running for state representative. We will also have Charlie Daniels. We have also extended invitations to all statewide candidates.”

O’Neill said the dinner will be held at the Elks Lodge, 414 Colegate Drive.

“Our social hour is at 5 p.m.,” she said. “The dinner will be at 6 p.m.”

The cost is $30. Tickets may be reserved in advance by calling Donna Malcolm, Barb Brockmeier or Louise Gwinn.

O’Neill expects attendance this year to be right on par with the usual amount.

“(We) normally (see) right around 100,” she said.