Dan Crenshaw

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas

The Kern County Republican Party will host its annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Feb. 22, a Friday, Bruce Freeman, the event chairman, has announced.

Newly elected Congressman Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, will be the featured speaker. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL  who lost an eye in an IED blast, received some notoriety last fall when "Saturday Night Live" comedian Pete Davidson made an on-air crack about Crenshaw's service. A public uproar ensued and, after Crenshaw’s election in November, NBC brought Crenshaw on the show, where he delivered a response both humorous and serious. Davidson apologized on the air.

A month later, after Davidson — who had recently parted ways with singer Ariana Grande — posted a grim message on social media, Crenshaw called to check on him, the Washington Post reported

In an Instagram post, Davidson wrote, in part, “i really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. ...  i actually don’t know how much longer i can last.” He then deleted his Instagram account.

Crenshaw, who served five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, told NBC affiliate KPRC that, after hearing about the comedian’s alarming post, he picked up the phone.

“We don’t go back very far. We’re not good friends. But I think he appreciated hearing from me,” Crenshaw told KPRC. “What I told him was this: 'Everybody has a purpose in this world. God put you here for a reason. It’s your job to find that purpose — and you should live that way.'”

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield will also speak at the event, which is the local GOP's primary annual fundraiser.

"This election cycle we were reminded that as Republicans we have a lot of work to do," Freeman and fellow Bakersfield City Councilman Ken Weir, the Kern County Republican Party chairman, wrote in a joint statement. "...(We saw an) increase in GOP members of the U.S. Senate, but we took a beating in California. Now we get past the defeats and prepare for victory in 2020.

“... To raise the funds we need for our voter registration drives and election year Get-out-the-Vote programs, we depend on our Patrons and Sponsors to play a significant role."

A VIP reception will be held from 6 till 7 pm., with the dinner following at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10,000 for a VIP table of 10 to $250 per person. For further details, call 661-327-9321.

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