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79th Annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Hornell

Feb 11, 2 022

By Jasmine Willis

HORNELL — The Hornell City Republican Committee has kicked-off the campaign trail for nearly eight decades with a Lincoln Day Dinner.

The 79th Annual Lincoln Day Dinner was held on Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at The Main Place.
Several speakers were present this event with key speaker, Joe Sempolinski, County Republican Party chairman running for congress. Other speakers included; Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, Hornell Mayor John Buckley, State Sen. Tom O’Mara, Brooks Baker, Steuben County district attorney, David Coddington, Hornell City Court judge, Paul Van Caeseele, Hornell City Republican Committee chairman, and Spencer Carr, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney campaign manager.

Buckley said it has been an honor and pleasure to have such a supportive team.

“Politics is a team sport. This committee helps the candidates along the way. It doesn’t end after the election. The team comes in and works hard to make a difference in the community we serve. It goes from looking for grants on purchasing a fire truck to fixing equipment and looking ahead to the next project,” he said.

Palmesano said he is looking forward to digging back into his roots and working for his hometown. He has a lot of respect for everyone speaking with him at the event.

“This Lincoln Day Dinner is the kick-off for the entire campaign. We have a big year ahead and I know we can be successful,” he said. “Tom Reed is no running again for congress, but we will all miss him. He was the glue that kept this team together. He worked hard to keep us all on the same page. When Gov. Cuomo was trying to take away all our ventilators during the pandemic outbreak it was Tom Reed who got us all together to put a stop to that.”

Palemsano added he is against the mask and vaccine mandates being forced on health care workers and our schools. He also is strongly against the NYS Bail Reform. He said it is time to take back the state and stand up for justice. The time has come to demand public safety.

“People no longer feel safe in their homes, schools or community. We need to know what is going on. We need to get rid of outdated mandates. We are at a 40-year high inflation rate. They want to spend more and tax more,” he said.

Baker said he is ready to be done with NYS Bail Reform.

“The things that are happening from a public safety point of view is disturbing. I am spending way too much time with coroners. The Fentanyl epidemic is way out of hand now. We are getting drug dealers lacing heroin with Fentanyl and we can’t keep them off the streets. They go right back out on the streets, because of this Bail Reform. Police are being laughed at when they go make arrests by the criminals. They know they will be right back out on the streets again, and there is nothing that can be done,” he said. “The criminals are coming first and the victims are coming last with this Bail Reform. The consequences of these elections means we are not safe anymore. We need to get rid of Bail Reform and bring back public safety.

Byrnes said everyone speaking at the event has dedicated their lives to making a difference in the community.

“We need Republicans to have a voice in the state. I am sad that I will no longer be serving Hornell, but I will still be around Wayland, Cohocton, and Dansville. I am still going to fight for all of you in Albany. I want you all to know that when I get re-elected I am keeping Mike Palmesano with me. Mike has spent his whole life in Livingston and Steuben County and has helped me out a great deal. My love runs deep with all of you,” she said.

Coddington said he is up for re-election and wants everyone to fight to end Bail Reform.

“What is going on in this country is a joke. Please help me give justice. Tell the government what is happening down here. I was supposed to be at the jail tonight, and I was just informed that a woman charged with manslaughter case is let out back on the street. They took away my ability to do my job. Before I even leave the court, these drug dealers and murderers are back on the street. They are laughing at me and the police. Let me do my job,” he said.
Carr said Tenney has been outspoken about mask and vaccine mandates being a problem.
“The maps are a disaster right now and eliminate Republicans in office. Tenney would’ve loved to been here this evening. She has been fighting the mask and vaccine mandates. Health care workers are saying they can’t find work and are being fired. They went from fighting covid-19 in the start of this to feeling pushed by vaccine mandates. She went to the border to check on things down there, and saw that things have gotten out of control. They are allowing human trafficking and fentanyl to come across the border,” he said.

O’Mara said the redistricting has been a nightmare for the Republicans.

“There has been a mass exodus of people leaving New York. The democrats are going against everything we fight for. They are for late-term abortion and this Bail Reform. They are infringing on our freedom, way of life, and cost of living. We are trying to take back New York and see a mass exodus happening. Luckily we are seeing Hornell lead the way in affordable living and being one of the top cities to grow,” he said. “We need people to help us in the fight. It doesn’t end on the floor in legislation. Our work needs to start long before that.”

Sempolinski said he is fighting for the America he wants his two daughters to grow up in.

“It is a real honor to be here tonight. I don’t know any other republican dinner that has 79 years of being a tradition in Hornell. This really is the kick-off of the political year. As a local boy who has grown up on the other side of the county this really means something to me. These are all people I have spent a lot of time with over the years. There is a large portion of New York where their local leaders and state senators don’t do a good job, and you see it in the long run. We need to keep these folks here fighting for us,” he said. “We have become more aware of the criminal justice over the last few years. It is so historically important what has happened in Hornell with the Republican Party. This used to be the democratic heart of the Southern Tier. You had the longest running democratic mayor in the state. It is unprecedented to be in a city that is now a republican majority.”

“It proves if you are willing to work, be persistent, and not let people tell you it has always been this way. Hornell is flourishing and growing now. You have people moving here and the city is thriving due to this new leadership. People in this room have all done their part in making it happen. We have a lot to look forward to in 2022,” Sempolinski continued. “Redistricting… I have felt over the last seven months as I am running for congress, I have on my forehead ask about Redistricting. This has gotten bolder and brighter over the last 10 days. The maps have come out and in my opinion this is unconstitutional. The state constitution says you cannot draw maps that have advantage or disadvantage a political party or diminish competition. Certainly, the maps do all of those things. I think we have a really good chance in court. We will need to have the democrats do the right thing in a couple of weeks and uphold the law. We have eight republicans in the state, and they want to take it down to four.”

Sempolinski said crime and inflation has caused a lot of damage in our area in recent times. The inflation has caused a spike in gas prices and food prices. It hurts the people who are trying to make a living to support their family.

“The purpose of America and reason this country was founded was so a leader could not do this. We got rid of a king so we could have a country where we were under the rule of laws and not men. We were under the rules of the constitution and not the majority of the whims of the moment,” he said. “I came forward in July since I wanted to do something about this. I wanted to run for congress for two reasons. I looked at my two daughters and thought of the America I wanted them to grow up in.”

Rush Limbaugh was honored as the 2020 Republican of the Year. Bill and Teddy Ormsby were honored as the 2021 Republican of the Year.