The Lincoln Day Dinner

February through May is the “Lincoln Day Dinner” circuit for Republican candidates in South Dakota. These dinners are sponsored by county Republican Party organizations across the state as a fundraiser for the county parties, as a chance for voters to meet and hear directly from the candidates, to build support for the party, and of course honor Abraham Lincoln.

My campaign for PUC this year is my fifth statewide campaign. Attending the Lincoln Day Dinners has been and is a favorite part of the campaign for me.  I wish I had kept track of the number of these dinners I’ve attended both in election years and in the off-years but I know it is into the hundreds.

Why do I so enjoy these dinners? I love a great meal!  And sometimes they have a pie auction (blueberry is my favorite!) Yes, there is certainly more to it than that.  These dinners have proven to be a very effective way for me to generate the support needed for a successful campaign.  As a candidate and state office holder I’m often asked to speak to the assembled crowd.  Before and after the meal and program, I get to visit with attendees one-on-one.  I hear their concerns and answer questions.  Friendships are formed and a bond is created.  I know I can count on these folks as the campaign unfolds!

I also enjoy listening to the local and legislative candidates that speak at the dinners. It helps me get to know these candidates and hear what matters to them.

Tomorrow night I have been asked to be the keynote speaker for the Custer County Lincoln Day Dinner at Blue Bell Lodge. I know it will be a great night to celebrate with good supporters and a chance to meet new friends.  And who knows, they might even have a blueberry pie!