Republican delegates from across the county met Saturday for Lincoln County’s Annual GOP Convention. The convention, led by State Representative Jason Saine and Lincoln County Republican Party Chairman Jon Propst, was held at the Senior Center on the Lincolnton campus of Gaston College. During the convention, party members determined the delegates for the upcoming Republican state convention and spoke with party leaders regarding local and state issues.
Public education was one of the most discussed topics during the convention.
“We want to encourage STEM, but the Common Core program is stifling it,” Saine said. “And if you don’t have parents that are really engaged…the kids can’t pass the tests. It is really dumbing down and limiting our abilities. And then when you look at the ramifications for the future, as the world is competing globally…if we’ve got kids that can’t do math, we won’t have engineers. And then we’ll be behind, in a race to try to fix that. Think back to the Cold War for a second. If we had not had the smartest and brightest people here, we would have lost that.”
Saine continued by saying Common Core is also impacting teachers’ morale.
“There’s a lot of pressure from administration for teachers to just accept it, and they’re not rewarded for speaking out, trust me,” he said.
“A few years ago, when this Common Core thing came out and we read about it, everything we read said it was the best thing since sliced bread,” Board of Commissioners candidate Anita McCall said. “Now we see the methodology itself…there’s a problem, big time. And the math is the major problem of it all. I support that we take that away from Lincoln County if at all possible.”
McCall also brought up concerns regarding the party’s website, which still boasted campaign information for 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“When you’re dealing with volunteers…it gets difficult to keep up with things online,” Saine said. “We need help putting up information online and participating in a web team to keep our website timely. We want to encourage our women’s club, and we’d like to build back our Teen Republicans club.”
Saine also responded to concerns regarding local and state IT departments.
“We have an IT Department where the average age is 55 years old,” Saine said. “Now, I don’t have anything against older people, but to get the best and the most qualified in IT, you want young people. They will do phenomenal things because they’re new to it and want to do everything. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, you’re seeing IT Departments with an average age of 25 or 26.”
U.S. Senate candidate Jim Snyder was among the guest speakers at the convention. Describing himself as a “rock-hard conservative,” Snyder has spent the past four decades as a constitutional lawyer and political writer, having authored 19 books.
“For 43 years, I’ve been a fire breathing trial lawyer,” Snyder said. “I’m trained to be a fighter. I’ve spent my entire life training to go to Washington as a rock-hard conservative. Send me a trained fighter to Washington, and I’ll promise you this; government will never capture our freedoms, liberals will never control our lives and freedom will always ring free in this United States.”
Out of the 26 registered members in attendance, 21 delegates were selected to attend the state’s Republican convention this summer.