Republicans Rally in the Park

By Megan Smith

Republicans Rally in the Park

Staff photo by Megan Smith State Rep Vance Dennis addresses the crowd at Saturday night’s Elephants in the Park event hosted by the McNairy County Republican Party.

On July 16, the McNairy County Republican Party hosted Elephants in the Park from 5-8 p.m.  

Free hot dogs and sodas were available to all in attendance.

Jumpers were available for children’s entertainment.  

The evening began with a prayer followed by the singing of the national anthem.

Several musical performances followed, including gospel and patriotic songs.

The official songs of all of the United States armed forces were performed while audience members who had been in the forces stood to be recognized.

At 6 p.m., the political speeches began.  Chairman of the McNairy County Republican Party, Joe Maness introduced the speakers.

The first to speak was Jai Templeton, the deputy state agricultural commissioner.  Templeton assured those in attendance that the state government was using their tax dollars effectively stating, “There have been changes made across state government during the last couple of months, and there are going to be more changes made.”

Following Templeton, McNairy County Mayor Wilburn Gene Ashe spoke to the crowd.

Assessor of Property Betty Ashe, County Court Clerk Ronnie Price, Sherriff Guy Buck, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s representative for the evening Johnny Blakely, and retired minister Jerry Woods followed Ashe’s speech.

The final speaker of the evening was state representative Vance Dennis.  Dennis’s speech outlined two main upcoming goals for Tennessee’s state government:  improving education and helping small business owners.

“We’ve passed two or three bills to help make sure that we have an effective teacher in every classroom in our state.  We are going to make our state the best system of public education in our country,” asserted Dennis. 

Dennis also stated that the state legislature was able to finish up a month ahead of schedule, saving state tax dollars.

Following the political speeches were more musical performances.  

Chairman Joe Maness said he viewed the event as a success. 

“I’m really pleased with the crowd turn out,” said Maness.

According to Treasurer of the McNairy County Republican Party Gina Brown there were somewhere between 300-400 attendees at the rally.

Maness hopes that the rally will encourage Republicans in the area to stay involved.

“This is an off-year election, but we felt it would be good to keep people interested in elections and let them know that next year is going to be a big year,” said Maness.