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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

County GOP keeps Lahren as speaker

Conservative commentator will address Lincoln Day dinner

By Lauren Dake, Columbian Political Writer
Published: March 22, 2017, 6:02am

Clark County Republicans plan to keep conservative political observer Tomi Lahren — who is facing a wave of backlash after she said she was pro-choice on a national talk show last week — as their keynote speaker at their annual Lincoln Day Dinner this summer.

David Gellatly, chairman of the Republican party, said they would not have booked her if her position on abortion had been public before the event.

But, Gellatly said, evoking former President Ronald Reagan, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and ally, not a 20 percent traitor.”

“This was the quote I gave when I was elected,” he said, adding, “I believe in most of our platform, I 100 percent agree with our core values. But I do not slam the door on someone with whom I disagree with on one issue. The overwhelming majority of people who bought tickets said they will cancel if we pull her. So, that makes it clear to me; we are tired of the ‘My way or the highway’ infighting and they don’t want us to tell our members if you’re not 100 percent in agreement, we don’t want you.”

However, Gellatly said, he’s also hearing from a lot of upset Republicans who believe being pro-choice is contrary to being conservative. The Lincoln Day Dinner is a fundraising event for the party.

On the talk show “The View,” Lahren said she’s pro-choice. Her belief is based on the idea that government should be limited, she said, and that extends to what government has a right to say about women’s bodies.

Gellatly said Lahren will make a video for Clark County residents to clarify her views ahead of her keynote speech in Clark County. Local conservative talk radio host Lars Larson will also be featured at the Lincoln Day event.

Lahren hosts a show called “Tomi” on the conservative website The Blaze. After making her pro-choice remarks, she was suspended from the site, reportedly for one week.

“Since she is on the headline of every major media outlet today, but giving our attention to us, I think the least we can do is listen,” Gellatly said.

Columbian Political Writer