GOP shows seriousness about youth at Lincoln Day Dinner in Daytona

Young Republican Cory Thompson at 2013 Lincoln Dinner uin Daytona / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer photos / The Lincoln Day Dinner easn't juet about the movers and shakers in rthe GOP like Mori Hosseini, the IVCIU Homes owner, who introduced Gov. Rick Scott. Teens interested in the Republican Party were well represented at the Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday at the Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center in Daytona Beach. Shown here is Cory Thompson, president of the Greater Volusia Young Republicans. Above and below are teens shown enjoying dinner.

By CORY THOMPSON
For Headlinew Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- It has long been a contention of mine that the GOP, in general, does not seem to know or even care about how to bring the youth to the party.

However, judging by the 2013 Lincoln Day Dinner that put on by the Republican Party of Volusia County, it is obvious that there is at least one portion of the party that seems to understand how important the youth are. Not only to the future of the Republican Party, but also the conservative movement as a whole.

The Republican leaders were able to take a normally stuffy fundraiser dinner and make it both fun and relevant for young people. These Young people are not excited about fancy dinners, but rather the idea of attending fancy dinners.

Truth be told, as a young person myself, whenever I arrive at a dinner such as the Lincoln Day fundraiser, I can only think about two things: When do we eat and when do we go home.

However, this time it was different. And I think the biggest difference was having a man such as Volusia County Chair Jason Davis as the master of ceremonies. Davis brings enthusiasm and humor to an event such as this that can not be under-appreciated, especially when engaging the youth.

Teens at 2013 Lincoln Day Dinner in Daytona / Hreadline SurferTeens at 2013 Lincoln Day Dinner in Daytona / Headline SurferDavis kept the night flowing along and had the youth in attendance happily listening to him as he became more than a host: He was funny and informative, which is a lesson that the GOP really needs to take from the Gipper himself, Ronald Reagan.

Taking a lesson from Reagan and Davis, it's important to understand one's strengths. Being uptight and on alert all hours of the day is not what is going to win over the youth  of our party. However, being of good cheer and showing a sense of humor will make Republicans more appealing to younger voters.

Speaking as president of the Greater Volusia Young Republicans, I can tell you firsthand that County Chair Jason Davis is beloved by young Republican voters not just because of what he's doing for the county, but because of who he is as a person.

County Chair Jason Davis hosted the Lincoln Day Dinner in Daytona / Headline SurferSpeaking as president of the Greater Volusia Young Republicans, I can tell you firsthand that County Chair Jason Davis is beloved by young Republican voters not just because of what he's doing for the county, but because of who he is as a person.

Davis epitomized everything the GOP needs to be at the Lincoln Dinner. As a young Republican voter, I also understand that it can't be all fun and games, but that goes back to understanding one's strengths. Young voters also need to see passion and excitement in those who represent us and are protecting our future.

While Gov. Scott may have given one of the greatest speeches I've ever heard from him after the equally-impressive introduction from ICI Homes' Mori Hosseini, , it was keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis who showed me why he is imperative to bringing younger people to the party.

The congressman was electrifying and entertaining. Outside of a couple of political jokes, he was mostly informative and excitable. His strengths are in delivering a passionate defense of Conservative Republican values and he did so with a flawless delivery at Friday night's event before 400 of the GOP faithful at the Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center.

From the powerful invocation by Deltona City Commissioner Webster Barnaby to Congressman DeSantis' closing words, it was a night of both passion and humor. It was a great night for the veterans of the party as well as the two dozen or so future Republican leaders in the high school and college ranks that attended.

From the powerful invocation by Deltona City Commissioner Webster Barnaby to Congressman DeSantis' closing words, it was a night of both passion and humor. It was a great night for the veterans of the party as well as the two dozen or so future Republican leaders in the high school and college ranks that attended.

I applaud the Volusia County Republican Executive Committee for all of its hard work in putting this wonderful evening together.

Cory Thompson Picture

Short Bio

Cory Thompson, who lives in Deltona, writes an occasional column, "Cory's Consensus, for Headline Surfer.