Here is an account of our meeting of Jan. 17

By Ralph Echtinaw

Gratiot County Republicans hosted two guest speakers at our January meeting.

The first was Julie Bontrager, a 21-year-old Alma resident who recently returned from a missionary trip to Iraq and hopes to return soon.

She gave a powerpoint presentation and talked about her experiences in Iraq, including teaching English to children and a few tense mo

ments involving the conflicts over there.

If you’d like to follow Bontrager as she makes her way back to Iraq, check out her blog here:

Graham Filler, a candidate for the Republican nomination to succeed Tom Leonard as state representative from the xxth district, which encompasses the southern two thirds of Gratiot County and all of Clinton County, followed Bontrager.

Filler was born and raised in Ovid and graduated from Ovid-Elsie High School in 2002. He majored in politics, philosophy and law at Miami University in Ohio and graduated from Detroit Mercy Law School.

In 2011 he was hired as an assistant attorney general in Michigan.

“I’m a community guy, active with the St. Johns Kiwanis Club 707, the SafeCenter organization, and Big Brothers Big Sisters,” he says on his web site. “I was named Kiwanian of the Year in 2014 for my service. I’m a member and supporter of the Farm Bureau, the NRA, and Right to Life of Clinton County. I am extremely active in Republican politics, serving as the treasurer for the Clinton County Republican Party and helping build the local party.”

Filler makes his home in Dewitt with wife Alicia, an OB/GYN resident physician in Lansing. They attend Northpointe Community Church in Dewitt, where they volunteer for church events and lead a life group Bible study.

Learn more about Filler here:

Attending the meeting were Chairman John Lemmermann, Vice Chair Chuck Murphy, Webmaster Ralph Echtinaw, Alan Leute (rhymes with mighty), Matt Cary, Joe Allen and Laurie Burke.

Joe Allen was already on our mailing list, but Matt Cary was not, so we thank Joe for bringing him to the meeting and hope that both return in February.