Monday, August 01, 2005

Democrats rally at picnic, despite missing speakers

Area democrats picnicked and politicked at a Columbia County Democratic Party get-together Saturday, but two of the party's most prominent politicians supposedly scheduled to speak were no-shows.
Although Gov. Sonny Perdue appeared just miles away at an event held by the Columbia County Republican Party at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion, both of the candidates vying to run against him in the 2006 gubernatorial election, Secretary of State Cathy Cox and Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, did not attend the Democrats' event.
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Kate Lewis/Staff
State Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin speaks during a picnic for Columbia County Democrats at Thurmond Lake in Appling.
A woman who answered the phone at Ms. Cox's campaign headquarters said Ms. Cox was at a family wedding out of town and that the engagement was on her schedule for quite some time.
A message left at Mr. Taylor's headquarters went unreturned Saturday evening.
Democrats attending the picnic stressed it is entirely possible for the party to take control of Georgia back from the Republicans.
"We're gathering a force to be reckoned with," said Angela Moore, a small-business owner running for secretary of state.
Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin is seeking re-election to the office and told those present that he will run on a platform of protecting the food supply from terrorists and water conservation and reuse plans.
At 36 years, Mr. Irvin is the longest-serving state agricultural commissioner in the country, and he said the party has an "excellent chance of electing a Democratic governor" as long as Ms. Cox and Mr. Taylor "don't go for the jugular."
Also present at the function were Greg Hecht, a Jonesboro attorney running for lieutenant governor; Shyam Reddy, an Atlanta attorney running for secretary of state; and Carlotta Harrell, a Delta Air Lines employee running for state school superintendent.

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