GOP candidates, US House of Representatives candidate Todd McKinley, Congressman Phil Roe, and Congresswoman Marsha
Blackburn speak to attendees during the Johnson County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner held last Saturday, at the Tennessee
Army National Guard Armory, 1923 S. Shady Street in Mountain City, TN. Photos by David Holloway.

By David Holloway
Staff Writer

More than 150 attended the Johnson County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner held last Saturday, at the Tennessee Army National Guard Armory, 1923 S. Shady Street in Mountain City, TN. The event began with a “mix-and-mingle” from 5 pm until 6 pm giving attendees a chance to visit with local, county, and state candidates personally. To start the scheduled program, Karen Weaver, Chairman of the Johnson County GOP, welcomed everyone followed by the Johnson County Honor Guard’s Presentation of Colors.

Anita Smith, Vice President of Republican Women of Johnson County, gave the invocation before the Pledge of Allegiance by the Johnson County Honor Guard. Nancy Davis sang the National Anthem.The ladies of The Levi Retirees prepared and served dinner enjoying the spotlight for their hard work while Randy Dandurand provided the entertainment for the evening with the guitar and singing. With dinner out of the way the evening’s main event; Presenting the Candidates, took center stage as candidates took their turn to introduce themselves and speak to the crowd including Congressman Phil Roe.

“The President is quite concerned over school safety as we all are,” Roe said. “We have a society that there is something terribly and desperately wrong.
Roe emphasized that due to a lack of God in the schools and a lack of God in many places there are “some very confused young people out there.”
“We have an Opioid epidemic in the country,” Roe continued referring to some state statistics.

“In 2016 we lost 1,631 of our fellow Tennesseans,” he said. “This Congress has added funds to our military. We have the smallest Army since before WWII, the smallest Navy since WWI and the smallest and oldest Air Force ever. We lost four times as many of our troops last year in training exercises as we have in combat.”

US House of Representatives candidate Todd McKinley, followed up with his take on the current political status in the state when he said, “There are about 840,000 eligible voters in Tennessee that are not registered. We are one of the last states in voter registration and one of the last in voter turnout. McKinley was clear about his agenda when he added, “I want to focus on getting a Constitutional Amendment in regards to term limits. Three terms, six years is more than enough. Another thing I want to focus on is the Balance Budget Amendment. It is time we get our fiscal house in order.”

As to the reason why Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn was running for US Senate, she said, “The US Senate is in desperate need of solid, conservative change. One of the things I have learned is that I am pretty good at affecting change. When we needed someone to step up and lead the fight against State Income Tax, Ron Ramsey and I stepped up, and we led that fight, and we are State Income Tax-free. Tax cuts are working in Tennessee, and we want more of them.”

The candidates for the local offices were by no means left out as each took their turn on the podium to share few words with all present. With all candidates eager to fulfill their proposed goals and promises, this year’s Lincoln Dinner concluded on a closing “mix-and-mingle” note.