Congressman Ed Bryant will keynote annual GOP Lincoln Day Dinner

Congressman Ed Bryant, who is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, will be the guest speaker for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner sponsored by the Carter County Republican Party.
   The dinner will be held on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at Sutton Hall on the campus of Milligan College. Tickets are $25 each and may be purchased from members of the Carter County Republican Party Executive Committee and others through Wednesday, April 17.
   Tickets are also available at Lingerfelt Pharmacy, and should be purchased in advance. Any tickets still available after April 17 will be obtainable only through Luther McKeehan, County GOP Chairman, and at Lingerfelt Pharmacy.
   This year's dinner, which is a little later than usual, is expected to be a draw for Republican candidates. There is some speculation that former Gov. Lamar Alexander may attend the meeting. Alexander is opposing Congressman Bryant for the U.S. Senate seat, which is being vacated by Sen. Fred Thompson.
   When Congressman Bryant was first approached by the Carter County GOP to speak at their Lincoln Day Dinner, he was gearing up to run for re-election to his 7th District seat. Weeks later, he found himself retooling for a Senate race after Sen. Thompson announced he would not seek his re-election for a third term in Washington.
   Now, Bryant and former Gov. Alexander, who is also a former Secretary of Education in the cabinet of former President George Bush, are running head-to-head in what most political observers are calling one of the most contested Republican races since the 1994 primary when Sen. Bill Frist won the primary. Bryant was in the Tri-Cities the first part of last week to kick off his bid for the U.S. Senate.
   McKeehan said Bryant's invitation to speak at the dinner was issued before Thompson's announcement that he would seek re-election. Bryant's name was on the list some three months ago when dinner organizers met to plan the dinner.
   Bryant is a West Tennessean, who after serving in the military for six years, returned to Tennessee to practice law. In 1991 he was appointed by President Bush to serve as United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. He has represented the Seventh Tennessee Congressional District, Tennessee's second largest, since 1994. He is a member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he helps influence federal policy over an array of important areas of commercial business and industry issues. He is also a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Prescription Drug Task Force, and is a member of the TVA Caucus.
   His legislative votes have consistently drawn the praise of mainstream organizations and their members, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Farm Bureau; National Federation of Independent Businesses; the National Taxpayers Union; the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools; the Seniors Coalition; and Watchdogs of the Treasury, Inc., and major law enforcement and veterans' associations, among others.