Sheri Samson
A room full of Nevada Republican voters, promoters and politicians filled the Hawthorne Elks Lodge Saturday night for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

In a packed room at Hawthorne’s Elks Lodge #1704, Republican voters, promoters and politicians from the entire state of Nevada assembled for this year’s Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 24. Serving a Basque-styled family dinner, presentations were shared in a relaxed atmosphere, bringing a successful climax to the end of an all-day caucus meeting, held earlier at the El Capitan meeting rooms.

Mineral County hosted the 2018 Caucus Meetings, with Cindy and Mark Nixon at the helm, coordinating a complete weekend of events, assisted by their own local Republican committee members.

The Nevada Republican Party Chairman from Las Vegas, Mike McDonald, opened the evening by encouraging all factions to come together. “We are moving forward and plowing the roads for our candidates. United we will stand, so let’s key in on our points and run forward.”

The Lincoln Day celebration is an annual fundraising event, filled with many state and county Republican Party members, usually held in February or March. The Nevada Republican Party has held a loyal and active group, promoting their political party since 1864.

Master-of-Ceremonies James “Gunny” Utterback, supplied a spontaneous introduction of candidates and speakers, using humor and references to his own proud roots as a Marine. As candidates were given a three-minute platform to review their primary points, speakers gave credence to a well-structured Republican Party, evident by their own participation within Saturday’s full events.

In this year’s Nov. 6 elections, many primary spots will be open, as well as those seeking a second-term within their current Republican positions. Attending candidates handed out literature, outlining personal points surrounding their bid for the Senate, House of Representatives, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer and the Judicial and State Legislative positions.

This election will also see a shift in current positions, as Governor Sandoval will be completing his term-limit while others are lined up for the running. Not attending the dinner festivities, a representative for Adam Laxalt announced his run for Governor, as he vacates his current Attorney General position. Dan Schwartz, Nevada’s current State Treasurer, is also included in the bid for Governor. Political newcomer, Jared Fisher, a small business owner, shared his own vision for rural Nevada as “including the strong aspect of tourism” as a key role in this state’s ability to create revenue. He relayed a story of venturing up the Lucky Boy Pass to see the scenic viewpoints.

Familiar faces also graced the Hawthorne weekend event, with Ira Hansen, currently serving as State Assemblyman in District 32 since 2011, now running for the Senate District 14, stating, “I am tired of seeing our representatives get seated and then they start acting like democrats.”

His wife, Alexis Hansen, accompanied him, campaigning to replace her husband’s current Assembly position. She stated, “regulate less and innovate more” while sharing that her Nevada roots had an extensive family background within politics.

Dean Heller, who is seeking a second-term in the Senate, shared some of his key points of accomplishment, which included passing a historic tax bill and seeing companies respond with positive benefits toward their employees. In completing his speech, Heller said, “Go Serpents” giving a thumbs-up before leaving.

Danny Tarkanian, candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, shared his key points of continuing the momentum of American first. “The repeal of Obamacare must be done” then he stressed removing the enormous federal support of $540 million given to Planned Parenthood and utilizing the Nevada Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository project in a safe manner, bringing construction and jobs to our state.

A school teacher in Clark County since 2004, long-term resident of Nevada, Sarah Gazala spoke of losing her father to terrorism, so her run for the U.S. Senate had a special significance with issues including security and education high on her list.

With an endorsement from Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Senator, Michael Roberson of Henderson shared his goal to become the Lt. Governor as jobs and leadership remained at the forefront of his efforts.

The position of State Treasurer had candidates Derek Uehara, President of Uehara Financial Group, a financial planning firm and Bob Beers, a CPA and former politician in the Las Vegas City Council, the State Assembly and the State Senate from 2005 – 2008, both sharing their views on the importance of funding education and allowing the proper investment into our young people.

A representative briefly spoke on behalf of Barbara Cegavske, Nevada’s Secretary of State, running for a second term.

Running for Attorney General, outspoken Navy veteran and Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney, Craig Mueller lined out his qualifications and an agenda to win the war on crime by candidly stating his nickname has been “Warrior” and he strongly believes in the protection of all citizens and their mandated rights.

The 4th District open seat in Congress had a representative speak on behalf of Cresent Hardy, stressing the need to continue economic growth while working with the State and County levels.

Wrapping up the evening, with over 25 years in politics, keynote speaker, Brian Krolicki, a three-year retiree after serving two-terms as Nevada’s State Treasurer admitted, “Politics can be harsh and it’s not easy – but it is important.” Primarily remembered as the 33rd Lt. Governor in the State from 2007-2014, Krolicki is known as the one that began the college savings plan for Nevada families, of which he proudly shared that one of his own children left for college last year – a product of that program. In closing he stated, “Here we are in this rural, town hall atmosphere, where a caucus brings us the relationship where friendships can be developed and yet it causes tough decisions to be made. Remember that every district matters and this election will be no different, as we have a lot in play this year.”