By Starrla Cray
WRIGHT COUNTY, MN The Republican Party of Wright County is offering a chance to hear political candidates speak at a Presidents’ Day Gala Saturday, Jan. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Reichel’s Event Center, 725 Norway Dr. E., in Annandale.
“It’s one of the last chances to meet the gubernatorial candidates before the precinct caucuses,” said Eric Boone, finance chair of the Republican Party of Wright County.
State Rep. Tom Emmer of District 19B and State Rep. Marty Seifert of District 21A will be the gubernatorial candidates speaking at the Presidents’ Day Gala.
Former State Auditor Pat Anderson will also be speaking at the event. She recently dropped out of the race for governor, and instead will run for the office of state auditor.
Other featured speakers include US Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, State Senator Amy Koch of District 19, and State. Rep. Dean Urdahl of District 18B.
State Rep. Bruce Anderson of District 19A won’t be able to attend because he has military duty as an Army Reservist, Boone said.
Three GOP candidates for state auditor will be speaking, including Jeff Wiita, Randy Gilbert, and Tom Conlon. State Rep. Dan Severson of District 14A, the GOP candidate for secretary of state, will also speak.
“I think we have an interesting lineup,” Boone said.
Social hour will begin at 5 p.m., and a buffet-style dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Coffee and dessert will be available, and there will also be a cash bar.
“People can come a little earlier and stay a little later, if they’d like,” Boone said.
General seating is $40, and a seat next to the legislators is $50. Proceeds from the event go to support local candidates, Boone said.
“Part of it is just to let the candidates talk, and the other part is an open forum,” Boone said.
Attendees are encouraged to think of questions to ask the speakers, Boone said. Questions can be e-mailed to Boone in advance, or they can be written down during the program. The questions will then be read out loud, and candidates will have the opportunity to answer.
Typically, the Presidents’ Day Gala takes place closer to Presidents’ Day, but by having it early this year, people can learn about the candidates before the precinct caucus, Tuesday, Feb. 2, Boone said.
Rep. Bruce Anderson started the event a few years ago as a local fundraiser, Boone said.
“It’s starting to become a tradition,” Boone said.