The chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia was in Columbia County on Tuesday night with a message.
Bobby Kahn, (from left) the chairman of Georgia's Democratic Party, talks with Evans residents Al and Mardelle Todd during the monthly meeting of the Columbia County Democratic Party in Evans. Kahn said the party is making a resurgence in the county.
"There's hope here,'' said Bobby Kahn, who became the state party's chairman in February. Since then, Kahn said, he's traveled throughout the state, meeting with fellow Democrats.
On Monday, at the county party's monthly meeting, Kahn said he was happy to see a good turnout in spite of the rainy weather. He said Columbia County reminds him of Cobb County 25 years ago in that it is showing signs of no longer being seen only as Republican territory.
"I see the same signs of this county turning back,'' he said, adding that it was shortly after the 1984 elections "when this county went astray.''
About 50 people attended the Democratic Party meeting at the Evans Government Complex auditorium to hear what Kahn had to say and to ask him questions.
"This is a good sign of things to come,'' Kahn said of the turnout.
Mardelle and Al Todd, of Evans, said they attended to hear what the state party's focus would be for the presidential election. Kahn said the party shouldn't be focusing as much on questions about President Bush's National Guard service but should talk about one issue in particular.
"Sen. (John) Kerry just needs to tell his story, and it need to be an economic story,'' Kahn said.
"We as Democrats need to be talking about the economy.''
However, on the state level, Kahn told those at the meeting that the stability of the HOPE Scholarship is one issue Democrats should capitalize on.
"This year, Gov. (Sonny) Perdue tried to put restrictions on the HOPE grant,'' he said. "The fact is Gov. Perdue has been against HOPE from its beginning.''
Also speaking at the meeting were Bob Ellis, a Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Evans, for his 9th District seat, and Chuck Pardue, a Democratic challenger to Republican Jim Whitehead, who defeated incumbent Republican Joey Brush in July to vie for the state's 24th Senate District.
Ellis mentioned Norwood's physical condition and his need for a lung transplant, wishing him well in the surgery.
Ellis said he doesn't want to win on the issue of health, but he questioned whether Norwood would be physically able to make all of the votes affecting the district.
Pardue talked about his military experience and said that if elected he would be a big supporter of Fort Gordon as the next round of base realignment and closures approach. Pardue also said that if elected, he would lead the charge for the passage of an ethics bill.
In the end, Kahn told his fellow Democrats they could do one thing to help their party the most.
"The most effective thing we can do is go door to door (campaigning),'' he said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.