Rowan County Republican Party hosts annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner fundraiser

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023

SALISBURY — Around 100 people attended the Lincoln Reagan Dinner Saturday evening, a fundraiser hosted by the Rowan County Republican Party. 

The annual dinner was held at Baker’s Mill and started at 6:30 p.m. The chair of the Rowan Republican party, Elaine Hewitt, greeted attendees and thanked them for their presence and donations.  

Hewitt also welcomed North Carolina General Assembly officials who attended the dinner including Rowan County’s three representatives: Kevin Crutchfield, who represents Cabarrus and Rowan counties in the 83rd District; Harry Warren, who represents Rowan County in the 76th District; and Julia Howard, who represents Davie, Yadkin and Rowan counties in the 77th District. State Sen. Carl Ford, who represents Rowan and Stanly counties in the 33rd District, was also in attendance. 

After dinner, the three guest speakers — Hal Weatherman, Dale Folwell and Dan Bishop — spoke to attendees.

Weatherman started by introducing himself and spoke on why he is running for North Carolina lieutenant governor in 2024. He previously served as chief of staff to former North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and former United States Rep. Sue Myrick. One major topic his speech centered on was supporting small businesses and keeping jobs in North Carolina.

Weatherman made a pledge that he would he go through each part of North Carolina’s budget and expenditures and make sure that the state’s dollars are used to help small businesses thrive.

“I will use every ounce of power that I have to steer those expenditures first to North Carolina home-grown companies, mom-and-pop companies,” Weatherman said. “We got a $25 billion budget and a $8 billion surplus, we are the ninth largest state in the union, soon to be the eighth, with one of the greatest GDPs in the world. Just imagine if we unleashed our economic power on our own people.”

He stressed that he wanted North Carolina to be self-sufficient.

Folwell is the current state treasurer and he mainly focused on North Carolina’s pension systems for retirees. As state treasurer, Folwell has made sure that the National Guard pension plan, the volunteer fire department pension plan and others are 100 percent funded.

“As the keeper of the public purse, the pension plans that so many state and local public servants depend on in Rowan County are some of the most stable and secure plans in the United States,” Folwell said.

Bishop was the last speaker and is one of North Carolina’s United States Representatives serving in Congress. He started off his speech by thanking those in attendance and all Republicans in Rowan County for the continued support.

He then talked about the recent voting of Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the house, that took a historic 15 rounds of voting by Republicans. Bishop was one of 20 Republicans who, at first, voted against McCarthy as speaker. He explained his decision to vote against McCarthy because he thought that both parties in the House  — Republican and Democrat — “have become finely tuned to the wants of lobbyists and special interests and are either resigned to or have become complacent about long-term damage to the American people.

Bishop explained that he and the other 20, commonly known as the Freedom Caucus, voted against McCarthy because they wanted to change the status quo in Washington.

Bishop eventually reversed his stance and voted for McCarthy as speaker once he thought they had achieved proper agreements with him.

He said one of the deals they negotiated will see the Republican majority in the House pass a bill that will balance the United States’ spending budget for 10 years and will limit total discretionary spending for fiscal year 2024. Another was a deal that would lower the United States’ current $31 trillion debt.

Bishop also touched on how the Freedom Caucus, by at first voting against McCarthy as speaker, has created new dialogue between the different factions of Republicans in the House. Bishop said the caucus has “increased conservative voices on critical issues and committees.”

“What happened in January in the United States House of Representatives was not government chaos and disfunction, it was democracy,” Bishop said.