By Mark Weyermuller, Opinion Contributor
This past weekend was a large gathering of young conservatives at America Fest in Phoenix, Arizona. It was hosted by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. The attendees were mostly high school and college students from TPUSA chapters across the county. Many parents joined their kids at the event making it a very family event. Many others of all ages attended including this citizen journalist.
Several thousand people attended the three day event.
Many elected officials attended including Senator Josh Hawley, Congressmen Matt Gaetz and Byron Donalds, along with Congresswoman Lauren Boebert. Newly elected Congresswomen Anna Paulina Luna and Harriet Hageman were there too.
Other speakers included Donald Trump Jr, Greg Gutfeld, Tucker Carlson, Kaleigh McEnany, Matt Walsh, Benny Johnson, Mike Lindell, Candace Owens, Newt Gingrich, and James OKeefe.
Prime Time 99 Alex Stein made a surprise appearance interrupting the Tim Pool Podcast by running on the stage in a Joe Biden mask.
One of the big stories of the conference, was an appearance on the main stage by Kari Lake. She’s been in court disputing the recent results in the Arizona governors election. While on stage in front of several thousand people Lake said,
“These are my pronouns. I won.”
She received a huge standing ovation with that statement. She then spent the afternoon on media row here doing multiple interviews including Steve Bannon’s War Room.
Another big story of the week, is the battle for chairmanship of the Republican National Committee headed by Ronna McDaniel. She was noticeably absent from the event and remains under fire after predicting a giant red wave this past November.
Harmeet Dhillon and Mike Lindell from My Pillow are both challenging McDaniel for the RNC chairmanship — and both attended the conference.
Although President Trump did not attend the conference, his presence was felt in Arizona.
During the conference, Ben Bergquam conducted an informal poll on the Charlie Kirk Show, asking who should be the Republican nominee for president in 2024?
President Donald J Trump won by a landslide with a couple people mentioning Ron DeSantis.
Former Illinois State Representative and former gubernatorial candidate Jeannie Ives had a booth on media row with her group, “Breakthrough Ideas. Their team conducted multiple interviews including one with Charlie Kirk and former Illinois State Representative Allen Skillicorn. Ives will be joining Pastor Cory Brooks at a Pints and Politics Evening hosted by the Three Headed Eagle Group on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at the Copper Fox Restaurant in Geneva, Illinois.
The next big gathering of conservatives will be the Conservative Political Action Conference commonly known as CPAC on March 1-4 at the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor, Maryland, just miles from the US Capitol in Washington, DC.