By Garrett Estrada, Eureka Sentinel Staff Writer
More than 150 people packed into the Postal Palace in Ely Saturday morning to enjoy this year’s annual Lincoln Day breakfast put on by the Ely’s GOP Central Committee. U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and State Sen. Pete Goicoechea were among the many in attendance at the sold out event.
Donna Bath started organizing this year’s breakfast shortly after Thanksgiving. She said it’s “very important to have an informed voter population” and that the goal of the breakfast is to help the community meet their political representation.
“The whole reason that we do this Lincoln Day breakfast annually is to give our citizens one on one access to the candidates and elected officials that will agree to come to our community,” Bath said.
All 17 counties in Nevada usually host separate Lincoln Day events, though Bath announced this year’s was collaboration between three smaller counties. Ely’s Lincoln Day breakfast combined White Pine, Lincoln and Eureka counties to make travel easier on the candidates and provide a bigger turnout. The effort was successful, according to Bath, who said there was a waiting list of over 10 people because they ran out of space to seat everyone.
The $25 breakfast, which was catered by the Hotel Nevada, serves as the only major fundraiser for the GOP Central Committee in Ely. According to Bath, the money raised at the breakfast goes to help the candidates during election season.
“This is our sole fundraiser that we do for our Central Committee and White Pine County and we use that money to put on events for elected official candidates to provide meet and greets for them,” Bath said.
Some officials even broke out the checkbook to help the counties. Representatives from Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office presented checks for $1,000 to each of the three counties involved and Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei had checks made out for $500 a piece.
Amodei called Ely’s annual breakfast “iconic” and said he always enjoys coming up to visit the town.
“It is just a nice place to come hang out and rub elbows with some of your colleagues and friends,” Amodei said.
Amodei’s friend Adam Laxalt is the lone Republican going into the primary running for Attorney General. He said he enjoyed seeing and meeting everyone and that Ely was a great place for it because it is a “microcosm of the state.”
“We are just really honored to be able to come here and that this town would put this together for us,” Laxalt said.
Each candidate and official were given three minutes to talk about issues that mattered to them and what they were doing or planned to do to fix them.
Niger Innis recently announced he was going to enter the primary as a Republican candidate to oppose Steven Horsford for Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District. He spoke about shrinking the government’s size and placing fewer restrictions on small businesses. He said that events like this make a big difference to him as a candidate just getting off the ground.
“By going to these communities, I have the opportunity to learn and listen to the constituents. It helps a lot,” Innis said.