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Georgia Democrats hold state convention in Columbus


As they set their sights on big wins in the November midterms, Georgia’s top Democrats and supporters from across the state gathered in Columbus to plan for the November 8th election.

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, Congressman Sanford Bishop, gubernatorial contender, Stacey Abrams, Lt. Gov. candidate Charlie Bailey, and other candidates up and down the ballot addressed about 1,300 party delegates and supporters from each of Georgia’s 159 counties at Columbus’ Trade Center.

The Democratic party is hoping to build on its gains from the last election season that saw the state go blue for Joe Biden in the Presidential election, and elected the first Jewish and first Black Senators in the state’s history, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. 

The party touted its diverse slate of statewide candidates that look like the people across the state of Georgia. Candidates and elected officials each took turns talking about the importance of voting and promising to make the needs of working families a priority, while pointing out that most Georgians have been overlooked and abandoned by the current GOP office holders. Candidates also promised to preserve abortion rights and promote President Joe Biden’s recent policy wins.

Party officials are leveraging recent policy triumphs from Washington, including the newly signed federal climate, tax and health care law and the rollout of a plan this week to wipe out some student loan debt as well as the move to curb prescription drug prices. Party leaders believe Georgians, especially working families, are angry at Republicans for overreaching into their lives with GOP policies.  They also say they are embracing their record, while portraying Republicans as an “extremist” party that advances an out-of-step cultural agenda and remains in thrall to former President Donald Trump.

Bailey, the nominee for lieutenant governor, said ahead of the convention, “The party of Trump is a party of extremism, a party of election deniers, a party of authoritarianism.” While on stage Saturday, Bailey reminded delegates that his GOP opponent, Burt Jones, is among the fake electors who signed certificates falsely stating that Mr. Trump, not Mr. Biden, had won their states. “If you seek to overthrow the United States government, you are not fit, you are not qualified to hold any office in this country,” Bailey told the crowd. “Make no mistake, this November democracy is on the ballot.”

This approach is aligned with the national pitch that saw President Joe Biden this week at a campaign rally in Maryland framing the election as a choice in November between Democrats and Mr. Trump’s “MAGA movement,” which many describe as a dominant strain of the GOP that Biden said resembles “semi-fascism.”

Rebecca DeHart, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia described those in attendance as the truest and bluest of the state’s Democrats saying, “We are excited to be here in Columbus and to welcome more than a thousand delegates, elected officials, volunteers, and super voters to get ready to really kick off the season of elections to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Up and down the ballot was a recurring theme as attendees were urged to return to their communities with the message that Democrats need you to vote for all of the candidates on the ballot so go all the way down when you vote.

By the time Stacey Abrams stepped to the microphone, the crowd was charged up and the room was electrified. As she delivered her address to the Democratic attendees, Abrams told the crowd, “We are going to defy all of the naysayers and take our state all the way back. Georgia Democrats, we’ve got some unfinished business to take care of.”

“Standing with me is the most extraordinary ticket Georgia has ever produced,” Ms. Abrams said before she addressed the convention. “It looks like Georgia; it sounds like Georgia; it knows Georgia.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia said it was purposeful in holding the event in Columbus, describing it as part of the plan to organize in every corner of every county, not just Metro Atlanta.


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