U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana, an avid auto enthusiast, will be the featured guest at the opening reception of the 2008 SEMA Washington Rally. The event takes place on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Westin Grand Hotel in Washington, DC and kicks off two days of activities on Capitol Hill.
In addition to influential SEMA members, council and industry leaders, among those participating in the SEMA Washington Rally will be members of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, consisting of about 100 members of Congress. The Caucus, formed in 1996 is a coalition of federal lawmakers who are car enthusiasts themselves or have racing and performance manufacturers in their districts. The Caucus was created to help raise the profile of the motor vehicle performance industry in Washington and throughout the country.
Sen. Jon Tester was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, after a long history of public service in the Big Sky State. He served as chair of the Big Sandy School Board and on his local Soil Conservation Service Committee before running for the Montana Senate in 1997. Tester served two four-year terms in the Montana Legislature and was then chosen to serve as President of the Montana Senate in 2005. He credits his leadership success to the values he learned growing up on the family farm – hard work, straight talk, honesty and integrity.
Under Tester's leadership, the Montana Legislature improved funding for public education and cut taxes for thousands of small businesses. Tester also led the fight to implement a statewide Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program. In addition, Tester fought to make employee health insurance affordable for small businesses, an issue of critical importance to SEMA members.
Sen. Tester and his son are industry enthusiasts, car collectors and hobbyists, having restored a 1956 Buick, Model-T, '55 Chevy Shortbox Step Side and a Willies CJ2A among other projects. The Senator was a charter member of the SEMA-supported State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus before his election to the U.S. Senate.
In addition to the opening reception, SEMA members who attend the Washington Rally will meet with their Members of Congress in a one-on-one setting, partake of a political insider session with well known Washington pundits Fred Barnes and Eleanor Clift, tour the U.S. Capitol and celebrate the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the motorsports industry with businessman, philanthropist and respected NASCAR driver Kyle Petty at a Congressional reception.
For more information or to download a registration form for the Washington Rally, please go to: http://www.sema.org/main/semaorghome.aspx?ID=51667