In Oct. 30-Nov. 5 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
RUSSELL SPRINGS — Currently there are 3,124 registered Democrats in Russell County, and Russell County Democratic Chair Lou Ann Flanagan is urging all of them to make their voice heard come Nov. 4.
That was the theme of the night at the Russell County Democrat Fall Rally Tuesday as more than 50 county Democrats joined together to talk about the upcoming election.
"We've had a lot of dissension in this party, we had a lot of people in Kentucky that were for Hillary Clinton," Flanagan said. "But Obama is our candidate."
Flanagan said that the party must unite and people must get out and vote in order for Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden to take control of the White House.
Two ladies in attendance, Kimberly Taylor and Gail Taylor, were adamant about getting Obama elected and supplied the rallly with Obama-Biden signs and stickers.
"I believe (Obama) is capable and brilliant and I think he is going to change the country," Kimberly said. She said she has followed Obama for four years and predicted in a college speech class in 2004 that he would one day be president.
Kimberly said that she believed Obama could have made a better choice for a running mate but that Biden may bring to the table some things that Obama may be lacking, such as his foreign policy experience in the Senate.
"Every day we become more of a global society and I think electing these two will not only change America, it will change the world," Gail Taylor said.
Kimberly Taylor said she spent more than $200 over the last few weeks ordering merchandise from www.barackobama.com to give to her Democrat friends to try and urge all of them to come out and support the Illinois senator on Election Day.
"People wanted stuff so I volunteered to go online and order stuff, to pay the $50 extra for express shipping to get it here before the election," she said.
Taylor said the she believed Obama appealed to the 30 and under age group because as a younger generation they didn't grow up with the same ideologies and views that previous generations had.
"I think they're more accepting of people, in general," she said. "They are more capable at looking at the candidate for who he is versus anything else."
Both said they respected Obama's Republican opponent, John McCain, and what he has done for his country, both in the military and in the U.S. Senate, but that they felt it was time for a change.
"He's been in the Washington culture for way too long," she said of McCain. "I think his choice of someone as unseasoned as (Alaska Gov.) Sarah Palin as a vice president shows his judgment, period."
The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper, endorsed Obama last weekend after saying that Gov. Sarah Palin was "too risky" to be the nation's vice president. Taylor pointed to that as a key strike against McCain in the election's final days.
Two more attendees, Casey Tucker, 24, and Derrick Ping, 21, both said Obama was closest to their political ideologies.
Tucker said he believed there had always been a liberal youth movement and that he thought it would show itself come Election Day. He pointed to Obama as being a young, energetic candidate with fresh ideas as to why he appealed to voters in his age range.
Ping said he liked Obama's healthcare plans and that he was going to focus on getting the struggling economy back on track.
Flanagan also spoke on the upcoming U.S. Senate race between Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Democrat opponent, Bruce Lunsford, and how important it was for state Democrats to "retire" McConnell.
Colmon Elridge, an executive assistant to Gov. Steve Beshear, spoke to those in attendance after the meal was served.
"Where do you want to be in four years?" he asked. "That's what this election is all about."
After a 30-minute speech to the Democratic crowd which included much support to Lunsford and Obama, Elridge closed by saying "When we wake up on Nov. 5th, I hope we don't have to ask 'What if?'"
Before the rally closed, Flanagan also recognized Russell County's outgoing property valuation administrator, Rodney Owens, who is retiring this week after more than 30 years of service in the courthouse.