2016 Statesmen’s Dinner Honors Fred Thompson’s Legacy; 1210 Attendees Help TNGOP Raise $630,000; Lt. Gov. Ramsey Honored for His Achievements
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – May 13, 2016—Every year, the Tennessee Republican Party hosts the Statesmen’s Dinner to promote the Party and celebrate its successes. The 2016 Statesmen’s hit those traditional notes but also caused a stirring reflection on the life and legacy of U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, who passed away last fall.
In honor of his memory, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander presented the Howard H. Baker Award to Thompson’s widow, Jeri Thompson. She provided some fitting words about Thompson and his love for Tennessee.
Thompson built a reputation as a common sense, conservative problem-solver. Given that context, it was appropriate the keynote address was given by South Carolina Nikki Haley who highlighted her state’s successes and how the Republican Party can continue providing solutions to the problems facing our nation.
Gov. Haley was introduced by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. He noted in his remarks, “When you listen to her (Gov. Haley), you can’t help but be drawn to her. She loves her state. She’s relentlessly enthusiastic.”
During her remarks, Haley exclaimed, “It’s a great night to be in Tennessee!” She went on to talk about the remarkable achievements brought about by Republican leadership as well as her experience steering her state through some of its darkest hours.
Additionally, the TNGOP honored the service of Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey who recently announced he would not seek re-election in 2016. Ramsey helped build the Republican Party into what it is today and guided the GOP to supermajority status in the State Senate.
He was recognized by State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and State House Speaker Beth Harwell and U.S. Senator Bob Corker.
“He served our state with great distinction and I thank him for his service,” stated Corker.
The event was kicked off by TNGOP Chairman Ryan Haynes who declared, “Our Party is strong and thriving!” He noted the attendance was nearly double what Tennessee Democrats had last week in the very same location and featured a Republican “star” in Haley who has achieved “phenomenal results in her state.” Haynes also proudly unveiled the fact the TNGOP has raised over $630,000 for this year’s event.
Haynes was followed by Dr. Manny Sethi, who was tapped to serve as this year’s Event Chairman. Sethi, who founded Healthy Tennessee with his wife, Maya Sethi, and serves as the Director of the Vanderbilt Orthopedic Institute Center for Health Policy stated, “I believe our country needs a renewal of courage, of dedication, and of faith in God. I believe the Republican Party is ready to lead us in those endeavors and keep the American Dream alive in Tennessee for the next generation.”
The evening was capped off by remarks from U.S. Representatives Phil Roe, John Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black, and Marsha Blackburn.
State Senator Jack Johnson and State Representative William Lamberth lead the event in the Pledge of Allegiance. Both served as the Legislative Chairmen for tonight’s event.