Haslam to give keynote to GOP
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor and Rick Norton, Associate Editor
Mar 29, 2013 | 969 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Haslam
Bill Haslam
Gov. Bill Haslam will make a return visit to Cleveland next week to deliver the keynote address during Thursday’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the Bradley County Republican Party.

Adam Lewis, local GOP Party chair, said the governor will speak for about 30 minutes.

The slate of speakers includes Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, state Reps. Kevin Brooks and Eric Watson, state Sens. Mike Bell and Todd Gardenhire, and U.S. Congressman Dr. Scott DesJarlais. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann is speaking in another county.

Lewis said the local party began working on the dinner fundraiser in February shortly after the reorganizational meeting.

“It has been quite some time since we’ve had a sitting governor attend the dinner,” Lewis said early today. “After Gov. Haslam was elected, he expressed interest in returning to Bradley County — which he has done several times — but we decided to take him up on what he said and extended an invitation.”

The location has been moved from Cleveland High School to the DeVos Recreation Center at Lee University. Doors open at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30.

“We told the governor’s office we would be flexible and work around his schedule,” Lewis said. “About a week after we called, his office called back and told us a previously arranged speaking engagement had been cancelled.”

Brooks, who is again serving as assistant majority leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives for the 108th General Assembly, told the Cleveland Daily Banner today he is “delighted” the Cleveland and Bradley County community is again hosting a visit by the state leader.

“Gov. Haslam continues to show his appreciation, and his support, for Cleveland and Bradley County, and for each of the communities located within the Southeast Tennessee region,” Brooks said. “I know I speak on behalf of the entire Bradley County legislative delegation — state Rep. (Eric) Watson, and state Sens. (Mike) Bell and (Todd) Gardenhire — when I say, ‘Welcome again, Gov. Haslam!’”

He added, “We are honored the governor has chosen to visit our hometown community once again.”

A couple of Haslam’s most recent visits to Cleveland have included a tour of the new Whirlpool Cleveland Division plant while it was under construction, and he served as keynote speaker during commencement ceremonies at Lee University.

Cleveland High School was unable to accommodate this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner. So, Lee University agreed to host the event.

The DeVos Recreation Center is located on the corner of Parker Street and Billy Graham Avenue.

Tickets and information are available online at http://bradleycountygop.com/bcrp/Home.html or call Adam Lewis at 423-310-4522.