By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Poltical Reporter
Friday, February 24, 2017, the leadership of the Alabama Republican Party celebrated its political ascendancy at the 2017 Winter Dinner at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said that the Republican Party has gone from 53 percent of all the elected offices in Alabama to 58 percent of all the elected offices in Alabama. Soon we will have over 60% of all the elected offices in Alabama
The party had a video tribute to Jeff Sessions. Chairman Lathan said, “America will be greater because of Jeff Sessions.”
New Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) also addressed the dinner gathering, “I am grateful for the Chairman in offering me this opportunity.”
Marshall said, “I now stand in the shoes of Jeff Sessions, Bill Pryor, and my friend, Luther Strange.” “I will continue Luther Strange’s emphasis on public corruption. This is my dream job. This is the thing I have aspired to for a long time.
Talladega College President Dr. Billy Hawkins told the Republicans that when I was going through the storm Terry Lathan came and offered me support. I thank all of you. Of course Bill O’Reilly is my new best friend. “Over 90% of those students (the Talladega College Band) have never been to Washington in their life now they are part of American history. A lot of people did not understand that this is about America.”
President Hawkins said that checks are coming from across America to support the band. They have raised over $850,000 in contributions. There are 230 members in the band and we have gotten phone calls from all over the country so could be over 400. The band members are in New Orleans and will be the lead marching band in that Mardi Gras parade and will march into the Super Dome.
Dr. Hawkins said, “I will be in Washington on Monday. Eight college presidents will give remarks and I will be one of those giving remarks. President Hawkins presented Chairman Lathan a T-shirt and declared that official band member of the Talladega College band. I thank you so much and I appreciate your support and the support of all of our 12000 new friends (who contributed to Talladega College to help them perform in the 2017 presidential inauguration.
Chairman Lathan thanked Alabama Senator Jabo Wagoneer (R from Vestavia) for his 50 years
of service to the people of Alabama. Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R from Jasper) and Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R from Monrovia) joined Lathan in awarding Wagoneer a chain saw artist’s sculpture of the Alabama’s Capital building.
Senator Wagoneer said, “I am so honored and blessed to be a part of this organization.” “I have received some plagues and honorariums, but this takes it to another level.” “Thank you Terry Lathan for what you have done for this party,.” Wagoneer also thanked the entire executive committee and the 67 county parties.
Army Sargeant Major Gavin MciIlvenna (ret), the President of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Honor Society, then addressed the group about his service and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. McIllvenna served in the U.S. Army for 23 years and retired in 2012. He now works in the Oregon State Police. He is married to Captain in U.S. Army reserves. They have two daughters and one granddaughter. McIllvenna has served in Iraq and the Kuwait Liberation. He has earned a bronze star and the legion of merit.
Sgt Major McIllvenna said that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Honor Society works to continue our service to the nation by educating Americans about the Tomb of the Unknowns. The guard’s wool uniforms can take six hours to prepare. The Tomb of the Unknowns was built in 1921 after the end of World War I. Both men and women has served as tomb guards.
To learn more about the Tomb of the Unknowns: https://tombguard.org
Senator Luther Strange (R from Alabama) said, “This has been a very moving ceremony. “Gavin just gave us a demonstration of what makes this country great.” My uncle was killed in World War II. He was a U.S. Army Captain and a West Point graduate. His birthday was the fourth of July.
Sen. Strange said, “I am honored to be part of the great Alabama Republican Party.”
The Alabama Republican Party has not lost any state wide race since 2008. The Alabama Republican Party last lost a governor’s race in 1998. The last time a Democratic Presidential candidate carried Alabama was 1976.
Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan was reelected without any opposition on Saturday, February 25, 2017.