04/09/06 — Wayne County Democrats meet for annual convention

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Wayne County Democrats meet for annual convention

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 9, 2006 2:02 AM

Party unity and voter turnout were common themes at this year's Wayne County Democratic Party Convention, held Saturday morning at the Wayne County Courthouse.

No resolutions were passed during the hour-long session, which was followed by a reception at party headquarters on Center Street. About 50 attended, a mix of candidates and delegates elected to attend the district and state conventions.

"This whole thing is about turnout," said Sen. John Kerr, reminding the audience that Wayne County has a chance at taking two House seats in the next election.

"We have got great candidates, (but) it's all about the turnout. It's about getting your friends and neighbors" to the polls.

Wilber Shirley introduced the morning's guest speaker, Ronnie Griffin, candidate for N.C. House. Shirley said the question about whether Democrats were better off than they were four years ago should serve as a wake-up call.

"Some of you looked like you'd been hit in the face with a dead rabbit," he quipped.

"This is the time for people to get involved now. What happens after this primary makes all the difference as to who gets elected in the fall."

Too often, he said, groups get mad and vote Republican when their candidate doesn't win in the primary.

Griffin said the party has a lot of work ahead. Winning elections will be contingent on getting voters to the polls, he said.

"We are at a crossroads. We can win this new election cycle if we get out and work, or we can sit at home, not support the candidates financially. We can just let it all pass by. We can let Republicans go out and take the House, take the Senate, and we'll be in real trouble," he said.

Griffin asked the audience to support Democratic candidates. He stressed the importance of getting organized and knocking on doors.

"It's going to take extra special effort the next few months to get the word out," he said.

Early voting begins Thursday and can only be done at the Board of Elections office, said party officials. Other special dates over the coming months include the state primary election on May 2, district conventions on May 20, state convention June 24, and general election on Nov. 7.