WILLARD, Mo. – The Ashcroft Faith ‘N Freedom Festival Thursday evening built on the twin pillars that could propel Jay Ashcroft into the secretary of state’s office.
The legacy of the Ashcroft name helped draw an announced 500 people to his father John’s farm, but Jay Ashcroft delivered on the consistent message of his campaign — the need for photo voter ID and fair elections in Missouri.
While attendees ate hamburgers and listened to music provided by New Horizons, John Ashcroft and guest Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and two-time presidential candidate, arrived at the event on scooters and four-wheelers as air horns blasted.
When the former attorney general welcomed attendees to the event, he did so with a solid endorsement of his son combined with a call for the defense of freedom.
“I believe that freedom is the core value of America. … Freedom demands more than celebration. It demands defense. It demands support,” he said.
“[Jay] is a person of passion and integrity. His service to the people of this state will be outstanding and I will be very consoled to know when he is elected to the next secretary of state of the people of Missouri, because we will add to our asset value of integrity, confidence and opportunity.”
After playing a couple songs on base with the New Horizons, with John Ashcroft on piano, Huckabee drove home the transition from legacy of the elder Ashcroft to the potential of the younger, calling out the essential need for photo voter ID.
“I’m here because I recognize that it may not be a job you talk about everyday, but is important because it affects your life everyday,” he said. “The truth is there is election fraud in America. … Honor and integrity in our election is absolutely integral to whether we save this great nation.”
He followed with another endorsement of Jay, saying “Jay Ashcroft stands for voter ID and I think it’s well past time we should be doing it.”
By the time Jay Ashcroft took the stage, it was all about his future as secretary of state and what he would do in the office. He talked about ensuring fairness and opportunity for businesses. He said he would make sure ballot language was clear and not deceptive. He said as secretary of state, he would take responsibility to make sure the data of Missourians was being protected.
But he drove home the message of the evening, the message emblazoned on the t-shirts of volunteers, the message he has talked about since he started an initiative petition to put photo voter ID on the ballot.
“The most important thing government does is elections — it’s not roads, it’s not bridges, it’s not education — because elections are how we the people consent to be governed,” he said. “It’s how we decide who will govern us, and not as often as we should, who will no longer govern us because they have betrayed our trust and not said what they said they would do.”
As the speaking portion of the event ended, the speakers joined New Horizons lead an audience sing-along of some parody songs penned by John Ashcroft, including one set to Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American” called “I’m Proud to be a Republican.”