Smyser Honored at Fundraiser
June 2nd, 2017
NAMPA — Skip Smyser stole the show even more than he usually does. Monday at the Canyon County Republicans Lincoln Day Banquet in Nampa. The veteran master of ceremonies of the traditional GOP function, held each . February since 1979, cracked jokes and cajoled members of the audience of hundreds into purchasing auction items. He got one banquet diner to pay $100 for a cake.
It was his last go-round behind the podium orchestrating the dinner attended by just about everybody who’s anybody in the Republican Party in the Canyon County area. Both of Idaho’s U.S. Senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, sat at the head table with Smyser.
“Thirty-one years ago we looked for someone who was honest, effective and loud” to serve as master of ceremonies of the event, Gov. Butch Otter said about Smyser. “Well, one out of three ain’t bad.” Smyser prompted members of the dinner gathering at the Nampa Civic Center to do the same thing he asks of them every year: raise money to elect Republicans.
The former state senator and state representative reminisced about Republican officials he introduced at the first local Lincoln Day Banquet in 1979. He lamented that not all state and local elected officials were from the GOP, most notably Idaho’s senior U.S. senator and Idaho’s governor. In fact, he said, the first 16 years of the event he could not introduce the governor at the partisan event because a Democrat held the position.
“What that tells me is we need to be diligent in the future” in electing Republican governors, Smyser said.
Dignitaries at the event handed out two Canyon County GOP awards. Canyon County assessor Gene Kuehn won Republican of the Year and party volunteer Ann Beebe won Outstanding Republican.
“I’m speechless,” Kuehn said, and then proved it by saying little more. Beebe said she enjoys working for the Republican Party.
“I really appreciate this. This was a real surprise,” Beebe said. Former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy honored Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday with a story of how an Idaho Territory governor played a partin Lincoln’s campaign to the White House.
The next major Canyon County Republican Party event is the Annual Roundup on June 12 at Ste. Chapelle Winery.