Lt. Governor Speaks To Local Republicans

The Morning Times

Republican officials and candidates at all levels of government, including Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, dined with some of their top local supporters at the Towanda Country Club Sunday evening during the Bradford County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

BCRC Chairman Eric Matthews was the first to speak before the dinner. In his welcoming address, Matthews praised President Lincoln’s accomplishments and challenged the committee to reflect on what it would have been like to have the “great emancipator” as president.

Committee member Joyce Grant is presented with the Ellen M. Turrell Award for her long-time service to the Republican Party by Lt. Gov. Cawley, left, Bradford County Commissioner Daryl Miller and wife Kay Miller, right. Colin Hogan/Morning Times”Imagine the era. The challenges facing the country. The moral issue of slavery. The country falling apart with the secession of the southern slave states, and this all leading to a civil war,” said Matthews. “Yet, President Lincoln, standing on moral conviction, exercising phenomenal courage and executing unequivocal leadership was able to preserve the Union, abolish slavery and promote economic and financial modernization.”

Matthews went on to contrast Lincoln’s accomplishments with the policies of the Obama administration. He urged his fellow party members to “get behind our Republican candidates and carry them over the finish line.”

After Matthews remarks, Rev. Thomas Blackall gave the invocation for the evening, which was then followed by remarks by the evening’s guest speaker, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.

Cawley spoke at length about the Corbett administration’s policy of fiscal discipline and budget-balancing methods that were implemented without raising taxes, saying that governments need to “live within their means.”

“We did it without raising taxes last year,” said Cawley. “And I’ll let you in a little secret. We’re going to do it without raising them this year either.”

Cawley said Pennsylvanians are struggling in this fragile economy, and are in a need of a more “common sense approach that has been lacking” from their public officials. He outlined tough decisions the state government needs to make, such as reducing the government’s work force, using block grants to empower counties to spend money more wisely and empowering the private sector to create jobs and put Pennsylvanians back to work.

In addition to his speech at dinner, Cawley spoke briefly on the recently passed legislation that empowers counties to impose impact fees on the natural gas industry. He said the law was designed so counties could “decide what they think is best” when it comes to imposing the fee, based on the industry’s local impact.

“What we felt was most important was that the fee be handled on a case-by-case basis, and that counties had the power to choose,” said Cawley. “We felt strongly against imposing a severance tax for that reason.”

Several Republican candidates for all levels of office were also in attendance, outlining their campaign and policy goals.

Dave Huffman, who will be vying for fellow Republican State Senator Gene Yaw’s seat in the commonwealth’s 23rd District, said he is “well aware of what it takes to run against an incumbent,” and is “used to the underdog role” in elections. Huffman previously ran his party’s nomination against Steven W. Cappelli for the seat representing Pennsylvania’s 83rd district.

Huffman said he feels his competitors fall short when it comes to being “intimately involved” with the inner-workings of their district.

“You’ll see me here in Bradford County. You’ll see me attending municipal meetings and getting intimately involved in the inner-workings throughout the district,” said Huffman.

Also in attendance was Attorney General candidate David Freed. Freed, who is in his 7th year as District Attorney in Cumberland County, said he has spent his entire career as a prosecutor. As Attorney General, Freed said he would work to “protect our children, protect our elders, protect our communities and protect our rights.” He spoke on the office’s need to “become smarter and more efficient” to “stay ahead of criminals.”

Freed said he has already gained support of the state party, as well as Bradford County District Attorney Dan Barrett.

At the federal level, candidate Steve Welch, who will be challenging U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D) for his seat in the senate, said he is running to stop Washington from “destroying the economy.” Welch, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, has been the founder of multiple businesses in the biotechnology and software industries.

Welch said his qualifications for the office come from his career building up small businesses — which he said federal government needs to begin focusing on more. He called the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act a “devastating” piece of legislation which has made the country “less competitive,” and said he wants to see the federal government get out of “bed with big business” and focus on helping small businesses start hiring more.

Other Republican officials in attendance included State Reps. Tina Pickett and Matt Baker, State Sen. Gene Yaw and Congressman Tom Marino.

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