Republicans gather

Knox Mayor Ragsdale is guest a Blount Lincoln Day dinner

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By Lance Coleman
Blount Today

East Tennessee has a destiny and by working together, it can happen, said Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale during the annual Lincoln Day Dinner. The event was held April 12 at William Blount High School.

Ragsdale delivered the keynote address at the annual Republican dinner, often talking about President Ronald Reagan’s beliefs about America.

"He believed America should be a place thriving with commercialism and free enterprise," the Knox County mayor said. "He felt America was a place divinely inspired and divinely blessed.

Ragsdale began his talk by remembering a conversation he had with a high school friend and how they were both surprised one of their classmates became president of Sears. Ragsdale’s friend then took a dig at him, Ragsdale said, when he told the county mayor, ""I could see him as president of Sears before I could see you as mayor of Knox County."

The Knox County mayor took time to talk about the new research and development park Blount and Knox counties along with Maryville and Alcoa are building near Pellissippi Parkway. "The jobs being created are 21st Century jobs," he said, ensuring that the workers of tomorrow won’t have to go elsewhere for good paying jobs.

Gen. Robert Tiebout, retired, U.S. Army, was on hand to lead the pledge to the flag. He spoke of meeting with an Afghan general who was raising money to buy Bibles to take to Iraq. He the general how long it took for democracy to take hold in America?

"He said, ‘How can you expect democracy to take hold in two years when it took you 60 years?’" Tiebout said.

Americans must support troopers fighting terrorism in the Middle East, Tiebout said. "If we don’t, we’ll be fighting them in California and New York," he said.

Blount County Republican Party Chairman Dave Bennett thanked everyone for coming. "We appreciate your dedication to
this party," he said.

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