The first Democrat to represent Livingston County in the U.S. House for a generation will be the special guest for Livingston County Democrats’ biggest event of the year.
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin will be the special invited guest at the party’s 36th annual Winans Dinner on Friday, May 17, at Lakelands Golf and Country Club.
“Elissa Slotkin has only been in Washington a few months, but she already is establishing herself as a practical politician who wants to solve problems and is willing to meet her constituents face to face,” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democrat Party. “Our annual Winans Dinner is the perfect chance for Livingston County Democrats to hear about events in Washington directly from their member of Congress.”
The dinner is also an opportunity to celebrate the blue wave victories of 2018, and look forward to 2020 when Democrats will “ride the wave all the way” to put a Democrat in the White House, Daubenmier said.
Also attending will be Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.
The event, the party’s major fundraiser of the year, begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour featuring music, snacks, and a cash bar, followed by a sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. Also included are a silent auction with many unique items plus a 50-50 raffle. A vegetarian and a vegan dinner option are available, with notification by May 10 required. Valet parking will be provided.
Tickets for the event are $70 per person through April 26, and $80 per person after that and at the door. A limited number of free tickets for high school students also are available. Tickets may be reserved on-line through ActBlue at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/winans2019 or by mailing a check made out to Livingston County Democrats to party headquarters at 8028 Grand River, Woodland Plaza Suite 7, Brighton, MI 48114. Patron ads also are available for $15 per name, allowing people to show their support by having their name listed in the program for the evening.
Slotkin defeated two-term Republican Mike Bishop in November, becoming the first Democrat to represent the 8th Congressional District since Debbie Stabenow in 2000. The district includes Ingham and Livingston counties, plus northern Oakland County.
As a graduate student in New York City, Slotkin experienced the 9/11 terrorist attacks and decided to dedicate her career to national service. The Central Intelligence Agency recruited her to be a Middle East analyst. During three tours in Iraq, she worked as a militia expert alongside the U.S. military.
When not in Iraq, she worked under both President Bush and President Obama in positions at the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
In 2011, she became Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Pentagon, where she oversaw policy on Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
A third-generation Michigander whose family founded Hygrade Foods, Slotkin grew up on the family farm in Holly. The family business, which was headquartered in Detroit, produced the Ballpark Frank first sold at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium as well as other favorite foods of Michigan residents.
Slotkin received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Columbia University in the City of New York.
She lives in Holly. Her husband, Dave, is a retired Army colonel who served for 30 years as an Apache helicopter pilot. She has two step-daughters.
Barnes was elected chair of the Michigan Democratic Party at a convention of party members in February after serving as chief operating officer for the party. Prior to that she was political and communications director for the Michigan House Democratic Caucus and Michigan State Director for Obama for America in 2012.
A native of Virginia, Lavora served as press secretary for the Clinton-Gore campaign in that state in 1992. She went on to work in the White House Office of Media Affairs during the Clinton administration.
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