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Patriots’ Dinner Draws Candidates, Supporters

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The annual Patriot’s dinner raised nearly $25,000 for the Lancaster County Democratic Party, before expenses.

Tables and tickets brought in more than $20,000, and an auction of desserts presented by current candidates for election in the county pulled in $4,350.

Lincoln City Council District 1 candidate James Michael Bowers’ bright blue layer cake went for $750, earning the top spot for amount raised for a single dessert.

“As a gay guy, I love every single color of the rainbow, but we need to turn this state blue!”
Bowers said in his introduction.

In his remarks, newly elected County Commissioner Sean Flowerday cited recent events including the mass shooting in New Zealand, flooding across Nebraska and the state Legislature failing to enact an LGBTQ job discrimination plan as part of what drew people to the Cornhusker Marriott for the annual dinner.

“I challenge each and every one of you personally to knock on 100 doors, make 100 phone calls and give 100 dollars this spring,” Flowerday said.

Outgoing Mayor Chris Beutler was noticeably absent from the festivities; he was overseeing efforts to make sure Lincoln’s water supply on the Platte River near Ashland stayed safe. Beutler will leave office after the city’s May 14 general election.

Former Sen. Ken Haar urged participants to donate to the party, talking about why Lancaster County is a blue dot in a red state. He noted that the county has more registered Republicans than Democrats, but has a track record of fielding and electing Democrats.

“We have better candidates who work harder, and we have a strong county party,” he said.  “Keep this blue dot. Make it even bluer and bigger.”

At the Patriot’s Dinner and a Central Committee meeting two nights later, Haar encouraged donors to give via direct withdrawal from checking accounts rather than through such vehicles as ACT Blue to cut down on administrative work and ensure more money gets directly to the county party.

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks and her husband, Loel Brooks, were the evening’s auctioneers for the dessert auction with candidates.

Award recipients included:

  • Outstanding Young Democrats – Campaign Team McClure for Congress – Sydney Butler, Danielle Hardesty, Eric Reiter, & Alexis Lipson
  • Salute to Labor – LaVonne Herechski
  • Outstanding Volunteer – Mo Neal
  • Community Outreach Award – Marthaellen Florence
  • Chair’s Award – John Yoakum
  • Patriots’ Award – Carl Eskridge

Thanks to all who attended to recognize the work of dedicated volunteers and support the county’s most important fundraiser.

Patriots Dinner Award Recipients 2019

See the print program.

Article by By Catharine Huddle

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