Democrats host convention, candidate forum

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Polk County Democratic Party plans to host two events in the next week aimed at better informing voters leading up to this year’s election season and honoring members of the party who have been active over the last year.
On Saturday, April 14, the party will hold its annual convention, with a breakfast at 9 a.m. and a meeting at 10 a.m. at the Steps to HOPE community room.
Then, on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m., a Democratic candidate forum will be held at the Meeting Place Senior Center off of Skyuka Road in Columbus.
“It is so important to keep Polk County on the stable path that we’ve weathered during this hard time. We’re very excited about the possibility of keeping on that path that our commissioners and other Democratic leaders have put us on,” said acting Polk County Democratic Party Chair Margaret Johnson.
Polk County’s Democratic Party Executive Committee, made up of 39 members, puts on the convention each year with the help of hundreds of local volunteers, Johnson said.
The 39 executive committee members include precinct chairs, officers elected every other year at the county convention and elected Democratic officials.
“The purpose of the convention is to conduct business such as electing officers, committee members and delegates to the district and state conventions,” she said. “This year, local Democrats are excitedly making plans to participate in the Democratic National Convention that will take place in Charlotte on Sept 3-6.”
Convention attendees will get a chance to hear from candidates running for local offices such as the board of commissioners, as well as two local candidates running for the N.C. General Assembly, Phil Feagan and George Alley.
The forum set for April 19, meanwhile, will be focused strictly on helping voters get to know candidates running in the May 8 Democratic primary.
“We think voters will appreciate the opportunity to meet candidates because we think voters are paying heightened attention this election season,” Johnson said.
The event will consist of a meet and greet with candidates at 6:30 p.m. and a question-and-answer session following. Candidates expected to participate in the event include Emily Bartlett, Ernie Giannini, Richie Greene, Renee McDermott, Rickie McFalls and Russell Mierop, all running for county commission.
Moderator Dr. Faith Weathington encourages voters to bring written questions about issues pertinent to Polk County to ask of all candidates. Each candidate will be asked to give opening and closing remarks, and the same questions will be asked of all candidates.

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