BEST #RWBBQ EVER!
KNIGHTDALE - On Saturday, July 15, 2017, the East Wake Republican Club held their 5th Annual Red, White, & BBQ celebration. Over 1,000 attended from nearly three dozen counties across North Carolina. Among them were around two dozen candidates and elected officials from all over the state. The highest offices in the state were represented by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Congressman Mark Meadows, and NC Supreme Court Justice, Paul Newby. Many other legislators and judges were on hand along with a host of local officials.
A couple of hours before the main event, a private reception was held for Congressman Meadows and was very well attended. The main topic discussed was, of course, healthcare, but touched on a broad range of subjects including our current foreign policy challenges. Congressman Meadows reinforced his committment to the repeal of Obamacare and expressed optimism that something would get done before the recess. He passed along a message from President Trump that he would soon be coming back to visit us and thanked us for defying the pundits in swinging heavily for him in the election last year.
Our event this year included another "Conservative Expo" that saw many booths and tables set up by national and local conservative organizations. Everyone from Heritage Action to NC Values to local clubs displayed at the event.
After hearing from some of our vendors in a "preshow", Felice Pete, former President of the Wake County Republican Women's Club and long-time supporter of the East Wake Republican Club warmed up the crowd in a rousing challenge for our elected officials to keep their promises and for the attendees to hold their feet to the fire. Rev. Mark Harris, of the First Baptist Church in Charlotte, opened with remarks and prayer - including his announcement that he was resigning to dedicate his time to running for the 9th District Congressional seat (currently held by Rep. Robert Pittenger). He narrowly lost the primary in 2016 against a beleaguered Pittenger who has been embroiled in legal battles.
NC Supreme Court Justice, Paul Newby, led in the pledge of allegience after stirring, patriotic remarks about the significance of the pledge. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest spoke earlier than usual in the program referring to his longstanding friendship with Congressman Meadows and praising the fight he has been waging in Congress for North Carolina. He was followed with remarks by former Justice Bob Edmunds about the importance of re-electing Justice Barbara Jackson in 2018, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mark Johnson, fresh off of a court win in an ongoing battle with a state School Board seemingly obsessed with their own power. It was a powerful program with enthusiastic participation of all attending as the evening approached the penultimate climax of the night - the presentation of the "Spirit of Jesse Award" and the keynote speech by Congressman Mark Meadows.
This year, the East Wake Republican Club presented the "Spirit of Jesse Award" to Congressman Mark Meadows for his unwavering commitment to conservative principles in the face of tremendous pressure, for his consistent conservative record that he has amassed since his election to Congress in 2012, and for his boldness to proclaim the Christian, conservative values that made this country great - very much in the spirit of the late Senator Jesse Helms. Congressman Meadows joins a very select list of elected officials to receive the award that includes Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, NC Treasurer Dale Folwell, and Rep. George Holding.
Former club President, Duane Cutlip, explained that the "Spirit of Jesse Award" is intended to show support for elected officials who are doing what we've asked them to do. He explained that voters are quick to criticize when they do wrong, which seems more often than not these days. Which, he elaborated, is why an award supporting good representatives is so important. The club has not committed to giving an award every year, and stressed that it would only go to elected officials they feel had truly earned it.
The Board of the East Wake Republican Club includes David Cozart (President), Barry Allen (Vice-President), Rhonda Allen (Treasurer), Fred Moore (Secretary), Rachel Pair, Carolynn Knott, James Paul, and Duane Cutlip.
The East Wake Republican Club seeks to energize, educate, and engage their local community while working with like-minded friends and neighbors to turn their country and party back to the founding principles that made America great - starting right here at home.