VALPARAISO | Local Republicans gathered Thursday night at Aberdeen Manor for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner for a night of camaraderie and communion as they listened to special guest and keynote speaker Brian Bosma, Indiana speaker of the House, discuss issues that are critical to the party.
County and state party officials were in attendance, including state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, state Rep. Ed Soliday, Portage Mayor Jim Snyder and Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, who said that the evening was a chance to gather with friends.
“I have known Speaker Bosma for over 25 years, and in fact, our fathers both served together in the state Senate for eight years," Costas said. "Politics can cross generations like that and it’s really about being great leaders over the course of many years, encouraging each other to build great cities, counties and the state.”
Bosma said that party solidarity is important now more than ever.
“We have been hearing some negative messages coming out of Washington, but despite that, we have a message of hope. We feel strong about Indiana and our opportunity to be a leader in this nation,” Bosma said.
He spoke to the crowd of more than 100 about the state budget challenges, the skills gap, unemployment, infrastructure and education problems.
“But we have made some great achievements in the past eight years,” he said. “We have the lowest residential property tax in the nation, the leanest state government in the nation, and we have $360 million in automatic taxpayer refunds that will be coming in the near future.”
Welcoming a cross-section of party leaders from Porter, Lake, LaPorte and Jasper counties as well as dignitaries from Indianapolis, Mike Simpson, chairman of the Porter County Republicans, said he was encouraged by the speaker’s positive message.
“We want to help make our state as good as it can be, for economic development and to deliver jobs,” Simpson said.