Despite the uncertainty of the voting districts that Wayne County is in, Democratic Party Chairperson Barbara D'Antonio said the local party has been preparing for the upcoming November elections for quite some time.

"There are people coming out of woodworks running," D'Antonio said.

"I feel like on the congressional districts, even with the bad maps, we have a good chance of our candidate, Dr. Kyle Horton, running and winning. I feel very strongly about that, she is an excellent candidate. She started early."

Horton has already held town halls in Burgaw and Warsaw, and D'Antonio said she will be holding one in Wayne County soon.

Congressional District 7 is currently held by Rep. David Rouzer, a Republican.

She said the party is "fired up," and the traffic she has seen coming to the Wayne County Democratic headquarters on Center Street has increased.

"It is interesting because we have had new people stopping by all the time wanting to get involved," she said.

"People are riled up and rallied up. I am excited. I think we can do it. It is a matter of getting more people registered and getting people out to vote and understanding that, how important it is because it does affect you."

The party recently began the process of organizing the precincts and collecting volunteers to help in fundraising and voter registration.

D'Antonio also said for the state legislative districts -- including Senate District 7 and House District 21 -- have a chance of being competitive this election cycle, no matter

She said she has seen some interest in Democrats running for the District 7 currently held by Sen. Louis Pate, a Republican from Mount Olive.

"We've got a couple people -- I won't say who -- because you never know who is going to file until they file," she said.

She also said she was heartened by the numbers of Democratic registered voters in Wayne County -- there are more than 32,000.

House District 21, which Rep. Larry Bell, a Democrat from Clinton, currently holds, is not running again for re-election this year.

"I think we can do it with a good candidate," she said.

The Democratic strategy is based largely in registering people to vote, getting them out to the polls, fundraising and educating the public on the political issues that have taken center stage locally, statewide and nationally.

A strategy D'Antonio said began last year with Horton kicking off campaigning and the Democratic Party mobilizing.

With a booth at the Wayne County Regional Agricultural Fair in early October, the party passed out literature explaining the platform of the party and the policies that Democrats stand for, D'Antonio said.

"We are starting early, we are planting seeds," she said.

"I planted seeds last fall at the Wayne County Fair. We had people that stopped by and wanted to argue and that was fine, we didn't do much arguing, though."

The Wayne County Democratic Party was instrumental in getting the Fair Courts N.C. to hold a town hall in Goldsboro.

The town hall, held in early January, was an information event about the pending changes to the judiciary districts, and inspiring local district court judges to speak out in opposition of the legislature's judiciary redistricting attempts.

The Fair Courts N.C. Town Hall led to some Wayne County voters going to Raleigh Jan. 10 and voicing their objections to the redistricting process.

In the time since the party started developing the local message for the upcoming elections, D'Antonio said she has found many voters are "single issue."

And those issues, from health care to the economy, she said is important to the message of the party that may see the elections bend to its favor, even with congressional, state senate and house and judicial maps askance.

"One of the things people are misinformed about is the expanded Medicaid," she said.

"This state did nothing, absolutely nothing, to help people get that insurance -- and it wasn't for everyone -- it was for the working poor from like $11,000 on up. It was for people that didn't get insurance through their jobs and couldn't afford the regular prices because people were basically priced out of it because they didn't make enough money."

She said the party's objective in educating voters will play a large role in the outcome of the upcoming elections.