Utah's Republican congressional delegation praised members of the Utah County Republican Party Saturday night for their efforts in making the county the No. 1 middle-size Republican voting district in the nation.

Gov. Norm Bangerter, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn, and Rep. Howard Nielson spoke at the Utah County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner and Auction at the Excelsior Hotel."Utah County makes a difference for the Republican Party in every election," Hatch said. "You are known all over the country because of the high percentage who vote Republican."

The Utah County Republican Party received a $10,000 cash award earlier this year from the Republican National Committee for having the highest percentage of Republican voters among similar size counties in the nation during the recent election.

During his comments, Bangerter said his agenda for the next four years would emphasize education, economic development and efficiency in government.

"My agenda is to make sure that our posterity, our children and grandchildren, have for them the same heritage that was left for us," Bangerter said.

Fifteen members of the Utah County Republican Party received awards for their exceptional service to the party Saturday night also. Honored were Sharanne Mitchell; Pearl Rex; Ted and Shirley Duffin; Jess Bushman; Nana Folkman; Joyce Peacock; Keith Haines; Paul and Alene Taylor; Stewart Low; Dean Wengreen; Robert A. Metcalf; and David and Cherie Lyon.

The dinner and auction, the major fund-raising effort for the county's Republican party, brought in more than $11,000. Among items bid on during the auction were neckties donated by Bangerter, Hatch, Nielson and Garn - with Garn's tie the top money-raiser at $250.