The Columbia County Democratic Party hopes to ride the momentum of President-elect Barack Obama's victory through to the 2010 elections.
"I think we're on the high part of the wave and we're just going to keep on riding it," county Democratic Party Chairwoman Rosemary Fitzpatrick said during a meeting of the party last week at the Evans Government Complex.
Fitzpatrick said party leaders intend to establish candidate and issues committees to contest races in the 2010 elections in Columbia County. The county's Democratic Party failed to produce any candidates in this year's races.
"The signs are going to be out on the roadways with Democrats running," she said.
Now that a Democrat has reclaimed the White House, Fitzpatrick said many area Democrats who have been reluctant to admit their political beliefs in a conservative county like Columbia County will be more forthcoming.
"The people who were afraid to say they were Democrats will now come out and start getting involved," she said.
Fitzpatrick said she registered about 100 new Democrats in Columbia County and more than doubled the size of her party's e-mail list during the presidential race. About 40 people attended Monday's meeting.
On election night, Columbia County Republican Party Chairwoman Debbie McCord said she hopes more Democrats step up to run in local elections.
"Whenever someone put an Obama sign in their yard, I'd have 10 or 12 people from that neighborhood coming here (Republican Party county headquarters) to buy McCain/Palin signs for their yards," McCord said of the recent presidential election. "Nothing gets enthusiasm up like a good race."
Democratic party goals, Fitzpatrick said, include putting forward a candidate for every local race, establishing a headquarters and starting Young Democrats and Democratic Women's clubs in time for the 2010 gubernatorial race.
Guest speaker and Grovetown businessman Sonny McDowell asked fellow Democrats to refrain from gloating.
"I urge you to leave this election united," he said.
He agreed with Fitzpatrick that formerly disillusioned Democrats who converted to the Republican Party as its popularity rose might find their way back.
"The direction of the wind is changing," he said. "You can take heart that there are more people out there that think like you do than meets the eye."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.