Republicans prepare for Missouri's Lincoln Days, Democrats protest

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Republicans from all over Missouri are headed to Springfield for the state’s Lincoln Days.
The event kicked off on Friday at the University Plaza Hotel. The state’s Lincoln Days are held in the Queen City every third year, but this time around, there will be a lot more celebrating. For the first time in a long time, there is a Republican president, Missouri’s governor is Republican, and the party dominates the House and Senate on the state and federal level.
“It’s a great day in the neighborhood,” said Tom Mendenhall.
He came from Columbia to attend Lincoln Days, and proudly show his support for the president.
“He did inherit a mess. You know, we got 20 trillion in debt and we got to do a lot to turn things around. And I think it’s happening,” Mendenhall said.
“It’s amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Danette Proctor, who is the chair of the Greene Greene County Republican Central Committee.
“We have the president, we have everything. And now we’ve got to do something with it,” she explained.
Proctor says she’s looking forward to being on a panel about building an even stronger Republican party.
“You just have to communicate, bring people together, be on social media,” said Proctor, “Emails, newsletters...”
It’s a big weekend for the Republican Party in Springfield, but the Democrats won’t be silenced.
“I’m not going to be silenced as a citizen. I was born and raised in this country, and it’s just scary. It really is scary, what’s happening,” said Rita Bruin.
She came from Branson to protest outside of Senator Roy Blunt’s office on Friday afternoon.
“I have been borderline depressed ever since the last election, because I knew what would happen when he came in and I’m just surprised that so many people didn’t understand what was going to happen,” she explained.
Protesters say they’re upset because Scott Pruitt is now the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator.
“He spent his career undermining the agency that he has now been chosen to lead. He receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel companies,” said Kay Mills, a member of Moms Clean Air Force.
Protesters say Senator Blunt should be holding town hall meetings to hear their concerns.
Mills said, “He’s been off on his congressional recess this week. He should be back home, meeting with his constituents. And we have yet to have any public meeting.”
Tomorrow morning Senator Blunt will be hosting a breakfast at the University Plaza Hotel. Protesters say they’ll be outside beforehand, trying to get Blunt’s attention to let him know about their healthcare concerns.
The women who organized the Lincoln Days event tell me they’re not worried about the protesters, as long as they’re civil and they follow the rules.
See the sidebar for a link to the Lincoln Days schedule.