POMEROY — No matter who wins the Republican nomination for President of the United States, Lincoln’s party must back them 100 percent.
With this message, Jon Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state, delivered the main address Thursday during the 2016 Meigs County annual Lincoln Day Dinner at Meigs Local High School.
“It’d be great to have a Republican sweep, and it’d be great to get out there and make that happen,” he said.
Along with support for the Republican party, Husted told those in attendance of the importance that lay in support in the next generation of Americans. He shared his personal story of being adopted by a loving family in Montpelier, Ohio. His upbringing with loving parents who taught him courage and good work ethic helped lead him into his political future, and to where he is today.
Husted also shared a story of today’s generation in which he visited what was labeled as one of the worst schools in Cincinnati. However, when he arrived, he found that the facilities were nicer than those in his own schools. However, when he spoke to school officials, he learned that the problems affecting the students were ones that were not visible in the school’s hallways. He said that without a good upbringing now, this generation, like generations past, will potentially face a negative future.
“We have to do it because the future of our country depends on (them),” he said. “That’s why we care about policy; that’s why we care about public politics. The decisions that we make collectively determine what happens to (us). It’s life; it’s the decisions about our lives because we live in a country where we make our own decisions.”
From here, he spoke of the woes of big government and bureaucracy, and that the way to change these negative factors in the people’s government is to vote. He shared another story of a man he met who said that voting had become too difficult and tedious and that he wasn’t planning to do so. Husted told the man that the odds were tougher during our country’s past, and to thank God he lived during the time that he did when his vote could change public policy.
“He got my point,” he said. “We never can give up.”
Husted presented a recent example of Issue 3, which was on last November’s ballot and would allow a monopoly on legalized marijuana. Initially, Husted said early poll numbers showed 90 percent of Ohioans in favor of Issue 3, with 65 percent of Ohioans OK with legalized recreational marijuana.
“It looked like they were going to sail to victory,” Husted said. “And then some of us stood up to it.”
Husted went out and campaigned against Issue 3 and hearing the voices of those on the opposing side.
“Not a week went by that I wouldn’t encounter a mom or dad (talk) about how their son or daughter started using drugs, and escalated to heroin, and before long too many were addicted and many of them have died.”
Husted said that after campaigns across the state against Issue 3, the numbers for the proposal began to drop until election night when Issue 3 failed with only 35 percent voting in its favor.
“It wasn’t because of me, it was because of all of you,” Husted said. “Because we didn’t give up, we knew what was the right thing for our communities. We thought about it, we talked about it, we changed public opinion.
“You have to stand up against the bullies. You have to stand up to the powerful and you have to stand up for what you believe in every single day.”
Commissioners Tim Ihle and Randy Smith also provided updates on the state of Meigs County. According to the duo, in the two-year period between 2013 and 2015, Meigs County had more than $20 million in private sector investments. With business booming, including rural businesses and more than 90 percent of Pomeroy’s store fronts full.
Smith also announced that the Meigs County K-9 Rescue and Adoption Center, the new dog shelter located at the intersection of State Route 7 and Hiland Road, will open any day now. The duo said this building is the first County General Fund-funded building project, with no grants or subsidies since the building of the courthouse in the 19th century.
“This didn’t involve some outside agency,” Smith said. “This is because of hard-working taxpayers.”
Ihle ended with his signature description of Meigs County: “We actually have a cloud hanging over us. And usually that’s a negative phrase, but this is a cloud of dust because we’re so busy, with so much going on that it’s kicked up a cloud of dust over Meigs County.”
Middleport Mayor Sandy Iannarelli, who also organizes the Lincoln Day Dinner, said this will be her last, and thanked everyone for their support. She said she was glad to serve her party and her county. No announcement was made on who will take over the organization for next year’s dinner.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.