John Tamney, of the Center for Economic Freedomworks, addresses the crowd during the Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert Counties Republican Parties’ Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, held on Saturday, September 24, 2022. (Photo/Adam Papin)

A who’s who of Ohio Republican candidates and elected officials descended on the Paulding County Extension Building Saturday night, as the Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert County Republicans held a Lincoln-Reagan Dinner.

Among the dignitaries in attendance were U.S. Congressman Bob Latta and U.S. House candidate J.R. Majweski. Ohio Auditor, Keith Fabor, Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, and Treasurer Robert Sprague were all in attendance, as was Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine. State Senator Rob McColley and outgoing State Representative Craig Riedel also spoke. Ohio House candidate Roy Klopfenstein addressed the crowd as well.

The tone of the evening focused on getting Republicans out to vote, especially for the Ohio Supreme Court. For the first time this year, the party affiliation of judicial candidates will appear on the ballot.

“In case you don’t remember what it was like in Columbus, the last time Democrats completely controlled the Supreme Court, they drove businesses out of this state across the line into Indiana. And they actually were building the buildings within sight, because you couldn’t conduct business in Ohio,” said Latta.

In introducing DeWine, who is running for re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court, McColley added, “For the first time ever you will have Rs and Ds next to the Supreme Court candidates. Not because it’s a partisan issue, but because it’s a voter participation issue.

“In 2020, one million people who voted for Donald Trump and Joe Biden in that presidential election, dropped off and didn’t vote in Supreme Court races. The number one reason why was lack of information, and the number one piece of information they wanted was political party identification.”

Dewine continued, “The court right now is at a crossroads. This election is going to decide whether we have a court that does what our Founders intended, that is apply the laws as written and protect the Constitution as it was originally understood, or whether we go in the other direction and have a liberal court majority that legislates from the bench to pursue their own policy agenda.”

John Tamny gave the keynote address. Tamny is the director of the Center for Economic Freedomworks and the editor of Real Clear Markets, and he spoke about the negative effect the nation’s Covid response had on the economy and personal freedom.

Tamny’s speech argued that the best way to fight pandemics is through promoting freedom, not taking it away. To bolster his case, he walked the audience through the history of epidemics. Throughout history, he argued that freedom led to innovations that defeated the viruses, and that the wisdom of crowds, as represented in the markets, was the best response. However, the United States did the opposite during the Covid epidemic.

“How dare they insult the American people by saying we’re going to take your freedom and take what animates your life. But here’s a check for your troubles,” said Tamney.

“Politicians taking our freedom is what caused the contraction. The only argument is freedom. You never take away the rights of the people to live their lives as they choose, and to operate their businesses as they choose to do.”

The evening concluded with prayer and singing God Bless America.