The biggest annual event for Missouri Republicans is more than two months away, but party leaders were eager to announce Monday that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will be the marquee speaker at the state GOP’s Lincoln Days festivities Feb. 21-23.
The weekend gathering, which attracts hundreds of party activists, will be held in Springfield, Mo. The event rotates among the state’s three largest cities; last year’s Lincoln Days was in St. Louis. The event usually attracts most of the state's major Republican officials, activists, potential candidates and donors.
Paul is scheduled to speak at the Saturday night banquet, usually the best attended event of the weekend.
“Lincoln Days has been a celebration that has attracted some of the biggest names in national politics—and this year will be no different. We are excited that Sen. Rand Paul will share his vision of our party’s future with Missouri’s elected Republicans, the state committee and county chairmen, as well as committed volunteers and activists,” said Ed Martin, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party.
“Sen. Paul delighted Missouri Republicans last May at the Spirit of Reagan event. Missouri Republicans are again in for a real treat.”
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was credited with snagging Paul for Lincoln Days.
"This year’s Lincoln Days celebration will mark the 115th anniversary – and this year, we have much to celebrate including the large Republican majorities in the General Assembly. But we have a lot of work to do in 2014,” said Nick Myers, president of the Missouri Association of Republicans, which organizes the Lincoln Days event.
“We expect hundreds of conservative activists and elected officials from all across the state to join us in Springfield, and thanks to Sen. Roy Blunt's efforts, we are glad that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will be delivering the keynote address at our annual banquet.”
Paul also is close to party chairman Martin, a St. Louis lawyer. Paul had helped Martin raise money during his unsuccessful 2012 bid for Missouri attorney general against Democratic incumbent Chris Koster.