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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson speaks as running mate Dennie Oxley looks on. (Photos by Nick Simpson)

Hometown dinner for new lt. governor candidate Oxley

June 25, 2008
After a morning of church and visiting with the community, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson and her newly appointed running mate, Dennie Oxley of English, settled down for an early dinner at the Crawford County 4-H Fairgrounds with a couple hundred friends and supporters.

Jill Thompson/Dennie Oxley campaign in Crawford County
Slated to begin at 1 p.m., the actual dinner did not start until 1:30 when Oxley led an invocation and then proclaimed to his hometown crowd: "Eat first. We'll have speeches later."

Allowing an hour or so for the full hall of people to fill their plates and settle down, the political side of the dinner was set in motion around 2:30. Oxley was introduced first and then given the podium to say a few words. Proclaiming his hometown pride, he asserted, "It's good to be home in Crawford County."

Five-term State Rep. Dennie Oxley, of English, makes his rounds through the crowd as they line up to get a free dinner.
Oxley professed the great honor and privilege he felt to serve in the General Assembly and to represent his friends, family and community back home. Now that he has been asked to be Thompson's running mate, Oxley said he feels the honor increased ten-fold.

Oxley then attempted to rally the crowd with a rousing call for change and a call to further Thompson's agenda "that will grow the economy, reinstate jobs and improve education."

Oxley ended his short speech with many thanks for all those who put the dinner together, most notably Local 181 who supplied the food.

After thanking the crowd again, Oxley handed the mic to Thompson who approached the podium amidst a roar of applause.

Thompson asked the crowd what it thought of the first decision she had made on her way to the governor's office, referencing Oxley, and the response was another round of applause. Thompson then expressed how she expected only 40 or 50 people to attend the dinner and how impressed she was at the number that showed.

"I think the whole town is here," she joked.

Later, Thompson said she also grew up in a small town, Larwill, Ind.

"It's a lot like this county except we have a northern accent," she said, getting a chuckle out of the crowd.

The rest of Thompson's speech was mostly about Oxley and how qualified he was for the position of lieutenant governor.

"(Oxley) is the perfect person to help get this state back on track," she said.

Oxley's credentials include Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education degrees from Indiana University Southeast. He is also a member of several clubs and organizations including: Fairview General Baptist Church, the Chamber of Commerce, Milltown Masonic Lodge, Hardinsburg Lions Club, Crawford County Jaycees, Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis and the Murat Shrine.

Thompson earned her B.S. in business from Valparaiso University and obtained an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989 to 1995. Following this, Thompson spent her time as the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development from 1995 to 2001. Her most recent position was CEO of the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy.

For more information on Jill Long Thompson's and Dennie Oxley's campaign, visit www.hoosiersforjill.com.

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