PHILIPPI - At least 164 guests attended the Barbour County Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday.
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, who is running this election year for a seat on the U.S. Senate, spoke to the large audience and appeared pleased with the turnout.
"This is a phenomenal crowd," Capito said. "Lots of enthusiasm, great speakers, great folks representing Barbour County."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito speaks Saturday at the Barbour County Lincoln Day Dinner.
After pointing out a banner that read "Republican for a reason," Capito made several key points.
She said that certain aspects of living are becoming over-regulated, including citizens' constitutional rights. Capito said that the Second Amendment is under "duress right now," with the current congress and administration.
"If we don't do something in Washington (D.C.), and a lot of it does ride on the doorway of the U.S. Senate, we're not doing this generation any kinds of favors."
Capito found a young child in the audience and said that the child has a national debt greater than $50 trillion dollars above her head.
"You can't make good decisions when you're way in debt like that," Capito said, adding that taxes are fair to pay, but those dollars should be spent in a better way.
Capito said that a solution is to cut spending.
"We cut our spending," Capito said. "We want to preserve the good things in our nation... you hear about programs like Medicare and Social Security, but if we don't make some changes for future generations... They're wonderful programs, but for Jayden (the young child in the audience) and her generation, we have to make some changes. We have to reform it to make sure we preserve it."
Capito also spoke about national defense.
"Let's talk about strong national defense," Capito said, "when the president now wants to cut our military down to pre-World War II levels."
Capito said she doesn't want a younger generation to grow up in a country without a strong national defense, one that isn't the strongest nation in the world or one that doesn't commit the resources that support veterans.
"If we don't have a strong national defense, we can't make good decisions for ourselves as a nation and we fall back," Capito.
Other elected officials who spoke include Del. Randy Smith, R-Preston, Sen. David Sypolt, Congressman David McKinley, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas and WVGOP Field Representative Matt Gallagher.
"I can feel the energy in 2014," Morrisey said. "Wherever we are in the state, you can tell that people know that for the first time in many years, we're going to have some significant gains... I think it's going to be a great year."
Republicans seeking a seat in the 47th Delegate District also spoke.
"Let's take a moment to imagine living in a state where your children or grandchildren finish school and they're ready to start looking for a job," candidate Derek Hart said. "They're able to find a job that's close to home, and they're able to come over to your house for dinner on just any ordinary day.
"Let's imagine a state where we don't have a generation of people depending on our welfare system just to survive. Let's imagine a state where everyone who's willing to work can make a living and can support a family."
Hart said that the dream can become a reality with good paying jobs, infrastructure that allows for development and an education system that prepares students for 21st century jobs. He also said that the dream can be achieved by fixing the court and tax systems and regulations that are too restrictive.
Candidate Clayton Moore said that his goal is to bring back old town hall meetings during which the community would gather together and elected officials would listen to citizens' concerns, ideas and views.
"We have an interstate that bypasses our county," Moore said. "What can we do to bring jobs back to our county? The first thing we need to do is we need to take a step back. We've been Democratically run since 1990.
"What I would like to do is take a step back, see what we need to refocus on. We need a candidate that is going to be willing to work with the County Commission, the city commissions, the mayor's office, and that's what I'm willing to do."
Candidate Robert Perrine said he is a family man and a business man. Perrine is the owner of B&B Tire Service, which he has operated for 20 or more years.
"If you're looking for a representative that believes in the moral values this country was founded on, a representative that will stand up for and protect your rights, a representative that will take your voice to the capital," Perrine said, "then I am your man."
Candidate Danny Wagner said he wasn't sure how much influence a 47th District Delegate would have, but that he wants to find out.
"I know that we have plenty of issues in Barbour and Tucker counties to talk about," Wagner said. "We should talk a little bit about the big picture."
Wagner said that past President Ronald Reagan once said that the U.S. is a blessed country, but if it strayed away from its godly principles and the Founding Fathers' goals in crafting the Constitution, it would no longer be a blessed country. He said Reagan was criticized for that, but it never slowed him down.
"It looks like, with this crowd right here, that we're ready to continue that fight," Wagner said.
Barbour County Commission candidates each had an opportunity to speak, but Candidate Judy Gain was not able to attend the dinner. However, three other Republican candidates were in attendance.
Candidate Jim Kines said he has the skills and experience to make informative decisions on the Barbour County Commission. He said he built his family business, Kines Motor Company, from the bottom up. He said after a fire destroyed the business when he was a teenager, he asked to help clean the debris and salvage whatever was left. He is now a co-owner, the manager and vice president of the business.
"I look at the County Commission as being very similar to the private sector of business," Kines said. "Both organizations require knowledge and skills to make proper decisions... I'm looking forward to applying my skills and giving Barbour County Commission my best."
Incumbent Tim McDaniel is seeking re-election to the Commission. If elected, he will serve his third term as a commissioner. Currently, McDaniel is the Commission president.
"A County Commission is a joint effort," McDaniel said. "You have to work with your fellow commissioners. I've felt the last few years I've had good people to work with and we've made some good decisions. We haven't always agreed on everything, but we've been able to talk it out and work it out and make decisions which I felt is best for the county."
Contact Melissa Toothman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.