Friday, April 30, 2010

RNC Chair Michael Steele to speak at River Run

Fundraiser will be open to the public

Express Staff Writer

Michael Steele will speak at River Run on June 18 Courtesy photo Republican National Committee.

Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele will visit Ketchum on June 18 and speak at the River Run Lodge.

Steele, GOP chairman since 2009, is the former lieutenant governor of Maryland.

Proceeds from the sale of tickets to the event will benefit the Idaho Republican Party and the Blaine County Republican Party.

A VIP reception will take place from 6-7 p.m. Tickets cost $500 per person, and $1,000 per couple. A "social summit" reception for the general public will follow with food, drink and music. It will cost $25 per person.

The topic of Steele's speech as well as the name of a "special guest" speaker have not yet been announced.

Debbie O'Neill, vice chair of the Blaine County Republican Party, said "this is something that has never happened in Sun Valley before."

"Sen. John McCain was here once for a limited fundraising event, but this event will be open to everyone, whether or not they can afford to pay for a ticket."

O'Neill said she hopes to attract as many as 500 people to the event, including some from Boise.


Sen. Jim Ricsh, Rep. Mike Simpson and Lt. Gov. Brad Little will also attend the event.

O'Neill said Gov. Butch Otter will not be able to attend because he will be in China at that time.

Norm Semanko, chairman of the Idaho Republican Party and of the Idaho Water Users Association, attended Georgetown University Law Center along with Steele, graduating in 1992.

"We met while running against one another for a position on the student bar association," Semanko said. "I prevailed by three votes."

When Steele last visited Idaho in February 2009 he told Semanko that the student bar association was one of two races he had lost in his career. The other one was a race for a U.S. Senate seat in 2006.

"Steele is very principled, ethical and conscientious, and he is excited to move the party forward," Semanko said. "He is in support of state and county party efforts and understands the importance of local party organizations."

For more information, or to buy tickets, call Anable Manchester at (208) 343-6405.

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