The “most revered Marine in a generation,” and one of the country’s toughest-talking former governors, will be featured at the Inland Northwest’s biggest gala dinner event this fall.
Gen. James Mattis, who served as the 26th United States Secretary of Defense, will be the keynote speaker at Washington Policy Center’s (WPC) Annual Dinner Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane. The dinner begins at 7 p.m.
The former Defense Secretary will be joined by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“Secretary Mattis represents the very best of our country – strong, principled leadership that put our nation before partisan interests,” explained WPC’s Eastern Washington Director Chris Cargill.
“Governor Christie is one of the nation’s most-recognized and exciting governors who achieved reforms across party lines in an extremely tough environment. Together, they will make the 2019 Washington Policy Center Annual Dinner in Eastern Washington another can’t-miss event.”
Tickets for the annual dinner – which is always one of the largest yearly gatherings in Spokane – can he purchased here.
“We are thrilled to always have the strong support of the Eastern Washington community,” said Heidi Stanley of Spokane, WPC’s vice chair.
Gen. Mattis is a Pullman native and Central Washington University graduate. The Marine Corps Times calls him “the most revered Marine in a generation.”
He was appointed Secretary of Defense by President Trump in 2016 and served until the end of 2018. Previously, he served as commander of CENTCOM, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010.
While commander, he was responsible for military operations involving more than 200,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines in Afghanistan, Iraq, and 18 other countries in the Middle East and south-central Asia.
He commanded at multiple levels in his 42-year career as a Marine, including as a lieutenant colonel in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. On becoming a brigadier general, he commanded first the First Marine Expeditionary Brigade and then Task Force 58 during Operation Enduring Freedom in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the First Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations – including in Fallujah – during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Gov. Christie served as the 55th Governor of the State of New Jersey from 2010 until 2018.
During his time in office, he emphasized the issues of fiscal responsibility, pension and health benefit reform, and education reform.
He signed into law legislation limiting annual property tax growth. On numerous occasions, he vetoed legislation to raise taxes in New Jersey. He signed pension reform bills which required public employees to contribute a small percentage of their salaries toward their health care benefits. And Governor Christie led on improving education in New Jersey, approving 23 new charter schools, including the state’s first school for children with autism.
Further, the governor reformed the teacher tenure system in New Jersey, requiring teachers work additional time earn tenure, and proposing evaluations of teacher effectiveness be used. He also led on the opioid crisis gripping his state and the nation. His March 2017 law restricting opioid prescriptions led to a 26% reduction in those prescriptions in its first year.
For over 20 years, Washington Policy Center has held its Annual Dinner events as a way to bring people together to hear about how free-market solutions are improving lives not only in Washington state, but across the country.
WPC’s Annual Dinner events in Eastern and Western Washington are now must-attend evenings that attract more than 2,500 elected officials, business and community leaders, and citizens statewide.
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