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Livingston Dems Energized by 40th Annual Winans Dinner

An enthusiastic, sold-out crowd of Livingston County Democrats gathered June 16 at Lakelands Golf and Country Club to hear from three great women political leaders from Michigan and to pay tribute to retiring U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and Michigan State Rep. Jennifer Conlin

Senator Stabenow, now serving in her fourth term in the U.S. Senate, recalled campaigning in Livingston County during her first campaign for the U.S. House. She went to every 4th of July parade in the county – including the Cohoctah parade, which bills itself as “the parade so nice you get to see it twice” because it turns around after 2 blocks and comes back.

Stabenow stressed the ways Democrats work every day to improve the lives of everyday Americans, focusing on growing the middle class instead of giving tax cuts to those at the top.

And she encouraged Democrats to talk about our successes more often, telling our friends and family about the record low unemployment rate, controls on prescription drug costs, and how inflation is coming down. Showing people how government works gives people hope, she said. The event also featured a tribute to Senator Stabenow’s legacy in a slide show, which you can see here.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin discussed the challenges facing our democracy, something she said happens about every 80 years. But she expressed optimism that the nation will get through it because we have strong, principled leaders and an engaged citizenry. Rep. Jennifer Conlin, who represents the 48th House District which includes part of Livingston County, talked about the need to keep and even expand the Democratic majority in the Michigan House.

The party also honored three Democrats for their service. Paul Giessner received the Outstanding Volunteer Award for his work during the One Campaign in 2022 talking to voters and his continuing involvement in the party; Lori Cowan received the Herb and Ruth Munzel Award for her monitoring of the far-right Livingston County Commission, and the late Steve Manor was honored with the John D. Donahue Citizenship Award for his years of public service as a member of the Howell City Council.

The event, which has been held annually for 40 years, is the local party’s largest fundraiser of the year. “We want to thank all who participated in the dinner and our silent auction. We especially appreciate the efforts of our Winans Dinner Committee which spent many hours planning for this event and hosting it. It paid off with amazing energy in the room!” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party.

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