04/15/07 — Wayne Dems choose Quinn as party chief as campaigns begin

View Archive

Wayne Dems choose Quinn as party chief as campaigns begin

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 15, 2007 2:07 AM

The Wayne County Democratic Party has elected Bronnie Quinn as its new chairman.

About 60 people attended the 2007 convention held Saturday in the Wayne County Courthouse.

Quinn replaces Gaspar Gonzalez, who served one term as chairman. Other officers chosen Saturday include First Vice Chairman Josiah Whitley, Second Vice Chairman Ralph Smiley, Secretary Jennifer Heath and Treasurer Stephanie Kornegay. State executive committee members Benjamin Clark, Jimmie Ford, Dale Gainey, Delores Kennedy and Jo Ann Roberts also were chosen.

In his acceptance speech, Quinn called on Democrats to work with him to achieve the goal of winning all elected offices in 2008.

"We must unite over the next 20 months to elect those people who can best lead this country, our state and this county," he said.

Democrats must pull together and devote their energy and fortunes to change the course on which President George W. Bush has led the country. Previous sessions of Congress have encouraged what Quinn calls Bush's "abandon." Future Democratic leadership must take a stronger stand, he said.

"We must provide greater Democratic representation in Congress to correct his administration's mistakes," Quinn said. "It seems past and present Republican members of our Congress forget that they never questioned this president in the handling of the Iraq war or anything else. We must question him."

He said Democrats have been made to look like villains over the past seven years -- as if supporting clean air and women's rights and speaking out against the budget deficit made them non-believers and non-Americans.

"Democrats are believers," Quinn said. "We believe when we pay $300 billion for reconstruction in Iraq, that money should go to reconstruction in Iraq. ... We believe in freedom of religion for all people. We say it's time to end the religious hypocrisy that says 'if you do not think and believe as I do, you are somehow a non-believer.'"

The founding fathers knew better than that and made sure there would be no state-sponsored religion, he said.

"They were smart enough to know that the state-sponsored religion of today may not be our personal preference tomorrow. ... We must be led by our own social conscience."

Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Beverly Perdue was scheduled to speak at Saturday's event, but canceled her appearance due to a scheduling conflict.