Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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February 11, 2014

Fundraising dinner hosts Birdwell, House candidates

Corsicana — The fourth annual Reagan Day Dinner, a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Navarro County, was well-attended Monday with about 145 guests at the Napoli’s Restaurant in downtown Corsicana.

The guest speaker was Texas State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), who talked about the reality of conservatism.

True conservatives have a respect for freedom and fiscal responsibility, but also a moral compass on social issues, Birdwell said.

“My job isn’t to make government do something for you, I protect you from state government,” Birdwell said.

Birdwell also took congress to task, saying that congress shouldn’t be exempt from the Affordable Care Act, also called “Obamacare.”

“If Obamacare is the law of the land, then congress should be first in line,” Birdwell said. “Everyone in office or seeking office should be aware you’re responsible for everything your office does or fails to do.”

He also pointed to the losing fights which are still noble. Referring to Col. William Travis, Birdwell said people admire the Alamo hero because Travis knew he’d lose but fought anyway.

“The reason we champion Travis is not because he lost, but because he had the courage to fight,” Birdwell explained.

From that he drew an analogy to the fight against abortion, which he said was a defining characteristic of a conservative. It’s not enough to be fiscally conservative, he said. A person also has to have the moral compass on social issues.

“We will not win the fiscal issue without the cultural issue,” he said.

Ultimately, this election is about trust, Birdwell said. People need to be able to believe what Republican politicians are saying.

“The 2014 election is critical not because of the issues but because of trust,” he said.

Politicians already seeking primary nominations were also on hand Monday night, and those in the contested race for Texas Representative, District 8, were allowed three minutes to introduce themselves and give a talk about their campaigns.

Bobby Vickery of Frost spoke of his background as a businessman, and said that if people in office couldn’t change then voters needed to elect a new person for the job. He also said he admired both of his opponents in the race.

“We want to all win because we love the great state of Texas,” Vickery said.

Charles Morgan, who lives near Fairfield, gave his background as a retired Air Force engineer.

“I have a very broad background. I believe I’ll do well in the house,” he said. He gave a brief description of two pieces of legislation he’d like to introduce, including one on lowering limits of microwaves used in industry, and low-frequency noise in the oil/gas industry.

Incumbent Byron Cook spoke about the accomplishments of the last session, and what he hopes to see in the next session in the legislature. He spoke strongly about the success of Proposition 6, which provides for future water projects in Texas.

“One thousand people move into the state every day,” Cook said. “We’ve got to prepare for the future.”

If reelected, Cook said he’d go down to Austin and continue to work hard for the people of the district.

Navarro County GOP secretary Steve Jessup spoke briefly in praise of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, citing his conservatism, political savvy and his sense of humor.

Eric Opiela, candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, was given one minute, and he made his appeal quickly and to the point. An agriculture commissioner should be focused on the future of water, he said, and then he referred the audience to his website.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email:


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