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Allen West Headlines Suwannee GOP Event

Allen West in Live Oak Florida

Suwannee County Republican Executive Committee Vice Chairman Layne Schultetus (right) speaks with Colonel West (left) and Reverend Danny Humphries (center) before the program began. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Lt Col Allen West speaks to Marines

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West recognized the Young Marines from Fort White. The Young Marines were in charge of parking during the September 5 GOP fundraiser event at Camp Weed. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

By Jeffry Boatright

The Suwannee County Republican Party kicked off the 2020 political season with an electrifying fundraiser event on September 5, 2019. The event, which was headlined by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West, was held at Camp Weed Cerveny Conference Center, near Live Oak.

Prior to remarks from West and other Republican leaders, well over 200 enthusiastic supporters of the Grand Old Party converged for a VIP reception and book signing to honor the combat veteran. West, who is a Christian constitutional conservative, represented Florida’s 22nd District as a member of the 112th Congress from 2011-2013.

Book signing

Matt Scott of McCrimmon’s Office Systems speaks with Allen West while getting his autographed copy of West’s latest book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

According to Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jeff Siegmeister, West cares more about honesty and principals than partisan politics. “He walked the walk and talked the talk,” Siegmeister added concerning West’s time in congress.

In recent years, many Americans have appreciated the former Congressman’s appearances as a contributor on Fox News, where he has championed a common-sense approach to the preservation of freedom, liberty and patriotism.

That same common-sense approach resonated with area residents as West’s stirring message quickly motivated the crowd when he stressed the importance of educating others on the fundamental values of the Republican party. He set the tone for the evening by quoting Proverbs 3: 5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

During a town hall style interaction with party supporters, West reminded everyone that we must stand up for what we say we believe in. “Rural North Florida cannot allow liberal South Florida to be the voice of Florida,” West emphasized.

While the focus of the evening revolved around renewing American patriotism, Siegmeister, who takes voter fraud very seriously, expressed concern over absentee voter fraud in Florida while discussing the 2020 election cycle. “One of our civic responsibilities is to vote,” he stated. Siegmeister explained that people not showing up will affect the election, and 400-500 votes can change the history of our country.

Speaking at Lt Col Allen West event Jeff Siegmeister, State Attorney for the Third Judicial Circuit in Florida, emphasized the importance of voting. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Republican National Committeewoman Kathleen King also stressed the importance of voting as she spoke at the event. She reiterated the commitment of Republican women, and stated they will be diligently working to reelect President Donald Trump in 2020. King added that the job for 2020 is to motivate the voters to return to the polls. She added that the Trump campaign is fully integrated with the Republican Party for the 2020 campaign.

According to King, Florida is a blue state by registration, but a red state by votes. She proclaimed that there is a job for everyone in the 2020 election, and emphasized the importance of helping to register eligible voters.

Suwannee County Republican Executive Committee Chairwoman Sherri Ortega has been pleased with the success and growth of Suwannee County’s GOP over the past decade. The county, which was predominately comprised of registered democrats, is now a red county with 3,500 more Republicans than Democrats.

Suwannee County Republican Executive Committee Chairwoman Sherri Ortega (left) was delighted with the reception Allen West received at the GOP event. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

According to Ortega, the Suwannee GOP has made its presence known in the North Central Florida region since it was revitalized in 2009. However, the party leader takes nothing for granted. “Although we have had much success in the last 10 years, nothing is guaranteed,” she stated. “It is just as important today, as it was in 2009 to continue the fight with the same passion and dedication each and every day as if it was our last chance in protecting our freedom, because it very well could be just that.”

West resounded Ortega’s sentiment of protecting freedom during his keynote address. His message was forthright, and accentuated the renewal of American patriotism. “If we are to renew America’s patriotism, it must begin with us, in our homes and in our churches,” West asserted. “Don’t rely on someone else to do it, do it yourself.”

Lt Col Allen West speaking

Allen B. West energized Suwannee County Republicans during a September 5 fundraiser event at Camp Weed Cerveny Conference Center near Live Oak. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

The crowd remained captivated as West illustrated six key principles in restoring American patriotism. Those principles include faith, family, individual responsibilities, quality education, small business entrepreneurship, and service to nation. He readily credited his parents and family for instilling such principles and values in him at such an early age.

Those in attendance were reminded of the liberties that we enjoy when West pointed out that one of the first things Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela was to ban individual gun ownership. He then referenced that it was American Patriots who first met the British with their weapons during the onset of the American Revolution. “They understood an armed individual is a citizen and an unarmed individual is a subject,” West solemnly reminded the audience.

Local officials took a moment to visit while waiting to hear Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West and others speak on the evening of Sept. 5. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

“If you want something, you earn it,” the retired Lieutenant Colonel said concerning individual responsibilities. He withheld no punches concerning abortion, and justly referred to the millions of babies who have been murdered in the womb as genocide. He emphasized that we are to preserve liberty and patriotism through the next generation, and reiterated the value of quality education.

According to West, the GOP is America’s last hope for preserving liberty, freedom and rights. “I have been to 13 countries and three combat zones. Nothing beats the United States of America,” West exclaimed. “That’s why people come here.”

West left the crowd with a few thoughts and challenges. “Go out and earn this incredible blessing to live in the U.S.A.,” he said, before challenging the Suwannee County GOP to erect four billboards proclaiming conservative values near the intersection of Interstates 10 and 75.

Although unsuccessful in his bid for a second term in the United States House of Representatives, West has never abandoned his message of American patriotism. “Write your plans in pencil,” he said. “God has a big eraser.” West added that God sometimes closes one door for others to open.

When asked of his future political plans, the former congressman, who now resides in Texas, stated that it was an honor to represent Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives, but he is now focused on running for Chairman of the Texas Republican Party. He reiterated that he would be submissive to God’s ultimate plan. “When you draw your last breath, you want to hear Him say, well done, my good and faithful servant,” West concluded.

The event, coupled with West’s message, certainly left everyone in attendance energized and optimistic. “I know what Allen West’s message is, and was aware of his delivery, but I was not prepared for the level of enthusiasm that he received,” Ortega said of Colonel West’s speech. “He has served our great nation with dignity, and continues to serve with his message of liberty and patriotism. I am so proud of our community and the message they sent to visiting Republicans during the event.”

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West spoke on Renewing American Patriotism during the September 05 event for the Suwannee County Republican Party. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Jamie Siegmeister (right) and Colonel Allen West take a moment to talk during the GOP fundraiser event at Camp Weed. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Suwannee County Republican Executive Committee Vice Chairman Layne Schultetus gives a thumbs up after purchasing an autographed copy of Allen West’s latest book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Many Republicans from the area, such as Chuck Brannan (center), joined Suwannee County Republicans for the GOP event at Camp Weed on Sept. 5. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright