SOMERSET, Ky. (WYMT) – Congressman Hal Rogers is one of two Republican leaders being honored at an Eastern Kentucky award banquet.
The Lincoln Club Banquet highlight GOP leaders for their strong conservative values and leadership abilities.
Congressman Rogers says it is an honor to be recognized at the event. But he says there is still a lot more he can do to strengthen the state. He says continuing the fight against the opioid epidemic is one of them.
“We’re running out of coroners”, said Rogers. “We don’t have enough coroners to examine the bodies of people who have overdosed. We’re losing roughly 65,000 people a year in the county. And Kentucky has a big share of that. So it’s a fight that I’ve been involved in for 15, 16 years.”
Other Republican leaders at the event say Rogers continues to help Kentuckians on many issues including agriculture.
“I’ve worked directly with Congressman Rogers to help make sure that we have new technology move in such as large-scale greenhouses in Appalachia, high tunnels, and even our growing livestock industry in the state which has been doing a great job in Eastern Kentucky”, said Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
Congressman Rogers says he does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Reagan. His friends say otherwise.
“They worked very closely together to champion the ideals that President Reagan and the GOP stood for. So I think it is not only fair, it is appropriate that Chairman Rogers be mentioned in that same breath”, said Congressman Steve Womack of Arkansas.
Rogers went into office at the same time as Reagan. He remembers the time Reagan called him, trying to change his undecided vote on a bill.
“‘You got a call from the White House’. I said, ‘oh’. So I pick up the phone, ‘yes?’ ‘Hal, this is Ronnie (Reagan). Nancy and I sure would appreciate your vote tomorrow on our bill’. That was it, yes.”
The Lincoln Club banquet honors conservative leaders every year.
This year’s event was held in the Center for Rural Development in Somerset.