BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The annual Lincoln Day Dinner Friday in Bakersfield featured former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The annual event is perhaps the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Republican Party in Kern County. It took place at the Marriott in Downtown Bakersfield.

Cameras were not allowed inside to record Pompeo’s speech in front of the crowd of 500 GOP faithful, but Pompeo spoke to reporters before the event about the essence of his speech.

“Elect good leadership in 2022 in the House of Represenatives and the Senate and then in 2024, we’ll get conservative leadership back in the White House and we’ll get this country going back in the right direction,” Pompeo said.

The former Secretary of State did not directly address whether he plans to run for president in 2024, but said he will continue to speak out against Biden-era policies he argues have hurt American families.

Outside the event, about a dozen protesters called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to hold a town hall and resign.

“He doesn’t listen to his constiuents. He locks his doors on his constiuents, hasn’t had a town hall in 4,00 days,” organizer Neel Sannappa said. “He’s supposed to be a representatie for all of us — not just donors in there tonight — but for everybody.”

Friday night’s GOP fundraiser also featured an auction giveaway. Tickets to the dinner cost $250 a plate.