04/18/10 — Democrats stand firm on policies, eye races

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Democrats stand firm on policies, eye races

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 18, 2010 1:50 AM

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State Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, speaks at the Democratic Convention held in Wayne County Courtroom No. 1 on Saturday. Sen. Davis was the guest speaker at the event, urging those in attendance to stand up for issues like education, health care and job creation.

They called themselves "the voice of reason" -- the few dozen local Democrats who converged on the Wayne County Courthouse for their party's annual convention.

But some of those who spoke -- particularly State Sen. Don Davis -- said a push will still be needed in November to overcome an "extreme" opposition.

The major players in the Wayne Democratic Party were on hand Saturday to discuss mutual interests and offer support to those running in upcoming elections.

But Davis delivered the longest set of remarks, urging those among the crowd to stand up for issues like education, health care and job creation, in the face of those who say the country, under a Democratic president, is headed in the wrong direction.

"It's up to us as Democrats to make sure now more than ever ... that the extreme voice doesn't take over," he said. "I'm energized. I'm ready to go. ... I'm up for a challenge. How about you?"

Local party chairman Bronnie Quinn shared Davis' sentiments -- characterizing Republicans as "the bully" and encouraging those on hand to support the president's agenda.

He called new health care legislation "a right for all Americans" and said locals should support the president's stance on nuclear non-proliferation.

But his remarks also seemed to focus on the need for enthusiasm leading up to November.

He called for Sen. Richard Burr's defeat at the hand of Democrats and said, "this year, the election of a Democratic sheriff is possible," which set the stage for retired police captain Glenn Barnes to talk about how he and incumbent Sheriff Carey Winders differ.

Barnes, though, admitted he was less of a political candidate than a potential public servant.

"I knew when I started this campaign that I wasn't a politician, so I'm just kind of feeling my way along," he said. "But there seems to be a lot of people who want a new sheriff in town. ... I know some improvements can be made."

Those candidates who were unable to attend the event sent letters that were read or had a member of the local community speak on their behalf.

But their messages were no different than the ones delivered inside Courtroom No. 1.

"I need your help," Davis said. "This is our time to make sure we continue to move forward."