4th Annual Basque Fry Speakers
Kellyanne Conway, President Donald J. Trump's 2016 Campaign Manager
As President Donald J. Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, Ms. Conway became the first female in American history to successfully manage a winning presidential campaign. She is a longtime respected pollster, political consultant, and pundit.
Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22), Chairman, House Intelligence Committee
Congressman Nunes grew up on a family farm in Tulare County that was operated by his family for three generations. The Nunes family came to the United States from São Jorge in Portugal's Azores islands.
After earning a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Business and a Master's Degree in Agriculture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Congressman Nunes returned to work on the family farm. His first election was to the Board of Trustees of the College of Sequoias, where he served two terms on the board. In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as California State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development. In 2002, he was elected to the House of Representatives in California's 21st congressional district. As a result of redistricting he now represents the 22nd district, which is located in the San Joaquin Valley and includes portions of Tulare and Fresno Counties.
Congressman Nunes serves as Chairman of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, which is responsible for overseeing the seventeen agencies and departments comprising the U.S Intelligence Community. He also serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes, trade, healthcare, and major entitlement programs such as social security. He previously served as chairman of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. Congressman Nunes' priorities in Congress include strengthening the nation's security against terrorists and foreign threats, reducing the size and scope of the federal government, reducing taxes and radically reforming the tax code, implementing free-market healthcare reforms that improve outcomes and increase patient choice, and ending the San Joaquin Valley's man-made drought.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Attorney General Pam Bondi is a fourth-generation Floridian who spent more than 18 years as a prosecutor, trying cases ranging from domestic violence to capital murder. Prior to serving at AG, Bondi had never run for elected office before campaigning for her current office. In 2010, she ran for Attorney General and won, and was awarded a second term by Florida voters in 2014.
AG Bondi was recently appointed to President Trump’s President’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission, where she works along side other national leaders in areas of drug prevention, interdiction and treatment. From her time as a career prosecutor and now, in her second term as Florida’s Attorney General, she has been a relentless champion of justice and worked tirelessly to protect the rights and safety of Floridians.
Marcus Luttrell, Decorated U. S. Navy Seal Veteran and The "Lone Survivor"
Marcus Luttrell is most known for his heroic actions in the mountains of Afghanistan in the summer of 2005. There, he and three other Navy SEALs traveled to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border on Operation Redwing in hopes of gathering intelligence on a Taliban leader and his ties to Osama bin Laden.
Following a brief altercation with a group of goat herders, the team was ambushed by a large Taliban force where they valiantly fought for hours, displaying characteristic SEAL determination and bravery, refusing to retreat from the fight despite being heavily outnumbered.
After the ambush, Luttrell was left alone after the other three SEALs were literally blown off the mountain along with a rescue helicopter carrying sixteen special operation forces that was shot down, killing all on board. Refusing to give up, Luttrell crawled through the mountains after sustaining injuries including a broken nose, a torn rotator cuff, three cracked vertebrae, and a body riddled with shrapnel, where he was eventually brought to shelter by local villagers of Sabray and rescued five days later.
After recuperating, he redeployed to Iraq for a second tour. Following the tour, Luttrell retired as a Petty Officer 1st Class in 2007 and was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism by President George W. Bush.
To honor his lost comrades from Operation Redwing, Luttrell established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010, dedicated to honoring and remembering American warriors by providing unique educational, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness opportunities to U.S. Armed Forces service members and families.
NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch
Dana Loesch is a best-selling author, online pioneer and nationally syndicated radio host who serves as a major national spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.
Dana hosts her award-winning, nationally syndicated daily radio show, “The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative” from Dallas, Texas, where she also hosts “Dana” on The Blaze television network. She also appears regularly on Fox News, ABC, CNN, among others, and has co-hosted on “The View.” She describes herself as a “conservatarian.”
Dana is listed in the top 25 of Talkers Magazine‘s top 100 “heavy hitters” and was named Missouri’s #1 Radio Personality in 2014. A former award-winning newspaper columnist, Dana was ranked as one of the top 16 most powerful mothers online by Neilsen and one of the top 30 Under 30 according to the St. Louis Business Journal.
She is the author of two best-selling books: "Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America" which turned the tide in the gun control debate, and "Flyover Nation: You Can't Run A Country You've Never Been To," which predicted the coastal-flyover divide and sentiment that decided the 2016 election.
In 2016 she was named Special Advisor on Women's Policy for the NRA's Executive Vice-President and CEO Wayne LaPierre. A native Missourian, Dana and her family now live in Texas.
Coverage From Previous Events
“Cowboy hats and boots were the norm, many emblazoned with American flags, or with the stars and stripes spelled out in rhinestones. The location was picked strategically: Nevada is a large state, but since almost all of it’s population is located in Clark County, candidates often don’t make it out to the more far-flung areas of the state. Corley Ranch, near Lake Tahoe, drew voters from all of those areas. According to event organizers, Republicans from all 17 counties bought tickets to attend the sold out event.”
“Laxalt is Basque, and his grandfather, former Senator Paul Laxalt, a legendary political figure in Nevada, used to hold Basque Fries when he was in office. This event continued that tradition.
“Four Republican presidential candidates rallied hundreds of voters at a Basque-themed barbecue in Nevada on Saturday, a sign the state is coming into its own as a relatively new hotspot for campaigns.”
“About 1,500 people, many wearing plaid shirts, cowboy hats and boots, noshed on chorizo and Basque stew while taking in speeches from retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former tech CEO Carly Fiorina, Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
“More than 1,500 people flocked to Gardnerville on Saturday for one of the biggest gatherings of 2016 presidential candidates in Nevada since campaign season started.
“Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s Morning Nevada PAC hosted the first Basque Fry featuring five GOP contenders on the Corley Ranch southeast of town.”
"Republican heavyweights from Nevada deemed the barbecue a success."
“Attorney General Adam Laxalt, along with the Nevada Republican Party, Douglas County Central Republican Committee and Nevada Federation of Republican Women, resurrected an event once hosted by Laxalt’s grandfather, former Nevada governor and U.S. senator, Paul Laxalt.”
“Both Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler and state Sen. James Settelmeyer, who both represent Douglas County, said they were pleased with the inaugural event and the candidates who made appearances.”
“This is a phenomenal event. I credit Adam for reinvigorating this event,” Wheeler said. Settelmeyer said the guests appreciated the opportunity to see the candidates at the Basque fry. “… I’m glad to see many of the top tier candidates,” Settelmeyer added.
“For the weekend both lawmakers agreed Gardnerville was the center of presidential politicking for a day.”
“Overall, Rural Caucus Chairman Wes Rice said the Basque fry was an outstanding event that attracted candidates willing to mingle with the crowds and guests from every county in Nevada. “We had friends from Elko here and Mineral and Esmeralda counties,” he added. “We have a lot of volunteers from Carson City and Douglas County. I’m impressed with the rural effort.”
"The event, hosted by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, was designed to honor Laxalt’s Basque heritage and the shepherding traditions of the group, many of whom emigrated to and settled in northern Nevada."
“We wanted to bring as many candidates here, and let every day Republican voters from around the state meet everyone,” said Laxalt…"
“It was a uniquely Nevada affair, with the foothills of the Sierra Nevada towering across the valley to the West.”
“Many here said they haven't decided who among the 17 GOP contenders they will back in the Nevada caucus, but all gave high marks to the event organized by state Attorney General Adam Laxalt's Political Action Committee, Morning in Nevada, PAC.”
“It was a first-of-its-kind presidential contest forum held in Nevada, where every GOP candidate was invited to talk with voters one-on-one.”
“ … the event was a spectacular success, showing how much Nevada matters.” - Jon Ralston
“Nevada Republicans showed support for attorney general Adam Laxalt to run for governor at the 3rd Annual Basque Fry.”
“More than 3,000 people attended the political event in Gardnerville.”
“Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Ted Cruz were originally scheduled to speak but canceled due to the devastating Hurricane Harvey. Other Republican leaders such as U.S Congressman Mark Amodei, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and Matt Schlapp came from out of town to signal Laxalt to run for Governor in 2018.”
“Speakers at the third annual Basque Fry gave red meat speeches to an appreciative crowd of 3,000 who flocked to the conservative Republican gathering in Northern Nevada.”
“We have great aspirations for Adam, don’t we?” New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said.
“He does an amazing job as attorney general, but I said I would only come with the hope that maybe one day you’d run for governor,” McCarthy said of Laxalt.
In his remarks, Laxalt said it’s important for the GOP to reclaim the state.
“We’ve going to make 2018 the year where Republicans take back the state of Nevada,” Laxalt said.
"2018 is a huge year for all of us, for all of Nevada," Senate Minority Leader and Lt. Gov. hopeful Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said. "We need a Republican Senate and a Republican Assembly, but we need to elect a Republican governor for 2018. I will be standing side by side with you to make sure that person is Adam Laxalt."
“While Laxalt did not officially announce his bid for governor Saturday, the speakers, as well as Laxalt, flirted with the idea during the GOP fundraising event. During an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Laxalt said announcements would be coming soon.”
“Laxalt instead introduced his family and kept his speech to supporting Vice President Mike Pence's and Sen. Ted Cruz's decisions to focus on Hurricane Harvey instead of attending the event and to rally the crowd to "commit" to conservative ideas.”
"We've got to keep fighting," Laxalt said during his speech. "We know that Nevada trended blue in the last election, but we have 3,000 people here today. ...We need this to be the foundation to turn Nevada red in 2018."
"It's a national emergency and my heart and prayers go out to those in Texas," Laxalt said of the last-minute cancellations. "We're focused on the Basque Fry and excited to put together the largest political event in the state. I love Douglas County. It's a great place, and Minden and Gardnerville are two of the coolest towns we have in the state. We need this (Basque Fry) to be the foundation to turn Nevada red in 2018. We're going to make 2018 the year Republicans take back the state of Nevada."
"It's no secret I've been looking at the governor's office," he said. "There's a lot of support out there, and I'm prepared to make that decision soon. "
"We have to elect a constitutional governor in 2018, and I will be standing side-by-side with you to be sure that person is Adam Laxalt." – Michael Roberson
Former Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Noel Manoukian attended the Basque Fry for the first time this year. "Adam Laxalt is doing a great job," he said. "I wish him every success."
“Organizers of a fundraiser in Douglas County by Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced Friday that U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will speak Saturday at the event.”
“Congressman McCarthy, who represents California’s 23rd District in the Bakersfield area, has established himself as a principled leader and champion for conservative principles, and we are honored to have him be a part of this event,” Laxalt’s Morning in Nevada Political Action Committee said in an email.”
“I just want to tell you how much courage it takes to run for governor — Adam Laxalt and that beautiful family he has to step out into the public arena and run,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference. “It takes wonderful men and women to take this country back.”
“I got a phone call yesterday and less than 24 hours, I’m here,” said McCarthy, a congressman from Bakersfield, California who Laxalt introduced as someone who’s “lockstep” with President Donald Trump. “You know why I come? Adam is an amazing individual. To find somebody of his caliber to be able to serve in today’s climate — he does an amazing job as attorney general but I said I would only come with the hope that maybe one day you’d run for governor.”
“Laxalt’s Basque Fry is modeled after one his grandfather, Republican former Nevada governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, held in Washington D.C. and in Nevada for decades. Nodding to Pence’s last-minute cancellation, Laxalt noted that his grandfather’s close friend Ronald Reagan once excused himself from the 1986 barbecue because the U.S. military was to bomb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.”
“My vision for Adam is high as the sky can go, as I’m sure it is for you,” said Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. “Thank you, Adam, for being the amazing attorney general you are.”
“Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt may not have officially announced it, but speakers at his annual Republican fundraiser in northern Nevada have jumped to the conclusion by throwing their support behind his likely run for governor in the next election.”
“The Reno Gazette-Journal reports (http://on.rgj.com/2iB8JLQ ) that Nevada Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson told the crowd of about 3,000 that he wants to make sure Laxalt takes the governor's mansion in 2018.”