Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, will be the keynote speaker at next month's Lucas County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner.
He is the highest-ranking party official in memory to address the annual dinner, which honors the first Republican president.
"It signifies the importance of Ohio in the presidential election," Bernadette Noe, chairman of the local party, said. "From a county perspective, we feel that Lucas County is going to be pivotal in determining where Ohio's electoral college votes go.
"We are very flattered," she said. "We have worked hard these last two years to turn the party around, and I think this is a recognition of that work."
Several other prominent Republicans will also be on hand at the April 20 dinner, including Gov. Bob Taft, state Auditor Betty Montgomery, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, and fellow Justice Terrence O'Donnell.
The event is to be held at the Pinnacle on Indian Wood Circle in Maumee.
The national GOP chairman was last in the county when Jim Nicholson rallied local Republicans in the weeks before the 2000 presidential election.
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