GOP event could attract presidential contenders

Posted on January 28, 2016 09:40 am CST

Joplin Globe
By: Susan Redden

There will be a new date and a new location for this year's Jasper-Newton County Lincoln Day.

Planners are expecting a big turnout among Republican candidates for statewide office and are hoping the gathering attracts at least one presidential contender, according to Nick Myers, longtime chairman of the Newton County Republican Central Committee.

For years, the banquet has been held in early February at the Butcher's Block Banquet Center in north Joplin. This year's event will be March 5 at the Joplin Convention Center off south Range Line.

Part of the reason for the new location is that banquet crowds in previous election years "had exceeded comfortable levels," Myers said. The date has been moved back — to 10 days before the state's presidential preference primary.

"We're hoping to get some presidential candidates," he said. "We've sent out invitations to all the campaigns, and we've heard some expressions of interest."

Having the event at the convention center will allow a larger venue for the banquet "and for a rally if one develops," he said.

Speakers who have confirmed thus far are U.S. Rep. Billy Long, of Springfield, and Republican candidates for statewide office — Will Kraus, running for secretary of state; Josh Hawley, for attorney general; and Bev Randles, for lieutenant governor. Myers said more will be added to the list as the date approaches.

The schedule calls for doors to open at 4 p.m., with a forum for statewide candidates at 5 p.m. and a buffet dinner at 6 p.m.

Tickets, at $40 each, will be put on sale soon. To register, call Myers at 623-2214 or the Software Center at 624-3844.


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