Just like pretty much every other local Democratic party in North Carolina, the Cabarrus Democrats had their county convention on Saturday, April 19th.
About 100 local democrats attended the convention.
Here's a short report on the event.
The convention lasted from 11 am - 2.30 pm. Before lunch we had a big candidates "town hall meeting" and after lunch we got to the business side of the meeting, electing our delegates to the 8th District convention.
Especially the candidates forum was the most interesting and sometimes entertaining part.
We had Larry Kissell give a rousing speech and getting a standing ovation for it. I've known Larry since 2005 and it's remarkable to me to see how much he's grown as a public speaker.
Our own Frank Eaton dropped by to speak for Dan Besse. The former head of our local Democratic women spoke on behalf of Hillary Clinton and i spoke on behalf of Barack Obama. Someone from Kay Hagans campaign dropped by while our other local BlueNC'er Christopher spoke for Jim Neal.
Suzanne Reynolds, candidate for NC Supreme Court, stopped by to speak on behalf of all the Democratic judicial candidates.
Besides all the national and statewide candidates we heard a lot from our local county and NC state representative candidates.
The most entertaining part came when we had our 2 candidates speak who want to run against Republican State Rep. Linda Johnson.
One candidate, John Stanley, proposed to look into getting Charlotte's light rail extended into Cabarrus County within the next 10 years. The other candidate on the other hand, Barry Richards, said that light rail is a waste of money and we should invest a lot of money in new roads, road widening and buses. When he got negative remarks from the room for this he decided to dig the hole he was in even deeper by saying: "We should start drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast, we can do it far off the coast so you wouldn't be able to see it and the state can make a lot of money off of that." he went on by saying that "this country was built on oil and we need to keep it that way". He was then loudly booed by the majority of the folks in the room. It's safe to say he didn't make a good impression, heheh...
The good news we closed the convention off with was that Cabarrus County is becoming less and less of a red county. In the last 2 weeks alone we registered more than 700 Democrats while only 30 new Republicans registered in that same time.
Compared to August of last year the difference is remarkable. Back then we had 7000 more republicans than Democrats, but since then we closed the gap by 1200. There are now 5800 more republicans and we fully expect to keep the current registration trend going so that by the November election we'll have closed the gap a lot more.
Hopefully even Cabarrus County will then pick Barack Obama over John McCain ;-)
Offshore NC Oil Drilling.
Singlehandedly the most absurd and outrageous idea I've heard out of any NC politician. The most horrifying part of it was just how serious he was, and how surprised he was by the majority of the crowd shouting at him. I believe I heard 2-3 people shout "There goes my vote!" Here's to John Stanley for NC House 83. I promise there will be more to come from this race.
Either way I had a very fun time at the convention. Like everyone else has said, Larry Kissell is less than 200 days away from using his amazing presence and charm in the halls of Washington. I, for one, can't wait. Frank Eaton made a wonderful appearance on Dan Besse's behalf, and represented him well. Even after Frank left, numerous people approached me and said 'Who was that guy? I love his energy!," to which I responded with a Besse palm card. Like Thierry stated, I spoke on behaf of Jim Neal. While I'm not as well spoken and dynamic as Jim, I was more than honored to spread the word of his wonderful grassroots campaign in Cabarrus. Ultimately, it was an interesting and fun day, and I'm now OFFICIALLY ready for the primaries to be over. My mental health is at stake.
Thanks for this wonderful account of the day, Lib!
That was me in Cabarrus County!
So sorry I didn't get to introduce myself, LiberalNC -- I was on my way out the door to Robeson County after starting in Union County bright and early! All told, the Hagan campaign had staff, surrogates, volunteers and of course Kay and her husband Chip and daughter Carrie at 60 county conventions throughout the day! Another long, albeit invigorating, day on the trail!
I did get to chat with Christopher, though! Nice meeting you!
Nice meeting you too,
Nice meeting you too, Colleen. Hope you enjoyed the 20 minutes you were in Cabarrus!