Callaway County Republicans gathered Monday evening to celebrate recent accomplishments and hear about their leaders' goals for the future.
"What an exciting time to be a Missouri Republican," Gov. Mike Parson said.
The governor made a special appearance at a Lincoln Days dinner at Fulton's 54 Country. Attendees had dinner while taking in music from the 54 Country Band. They also had a chance to mingle with many members of the local and state government, including state Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.
Several made brief remarks before Parson's speech.
State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, recently appointed to his position after serving 2013-19 in the House, said this was his fourth Lincoln Days event in five nights.
He said one thing has held true at all the events: "Republicans are energized to re-elect President (Donald) Trump."
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., sent a member of his staff to read a letter to the audience. Among other points, he mentioned how Republicans are standing "shoulder-to-shoulder" to roll back "Obama-style socialism."
Opposition to Democrat goals was a theme among speakers; Parson mentioned his distaste for "Schumer/Pelosi liberalism." He also compared the Green New Deal proposed by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to the fresh cow patties his herd leaves behind, noting they're best avoided.
Speakers celebrated steps taken to eliminate abortions in the state, such as a bill recently passed by the Missouri House banning most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
"Missouri recently hit an all-time low for the number of abortions in the state," Parson said, claiming abortions have fallen from 20,000 per year in 2005 to 3,000 per year in 2018. "Missouri is leading the way for pro-life issues."
Parson also highlighted the need for workforce development and infrastructure improvement — two key areas he focused on during his State of the State address.
He said many companies are eyeing Missouri as the site of future expansions, and Missouri's workforce needs to be ready.
"One thing is clear: We have to identify real solutions to allow Missourians to retool and rescale to meet demands," he said.
He also noted while Missouri has "one of the largest highway systems in the country," it's "barely maintained." He mentioned an item from his proposed budget that would make more money available for highway maintenance without calling for a tax increase.