Democratic candidates emphasize need to vote

Half of the Democrat candidates with opposition for state office spoke at a Georgia statewide candidate forum in Columbia County on Saturday, and the overriding theme was getting out the vote for November.

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Thurmond said Republicans supposedly had the "enthusiasm gap" in their favor and that polls indicated only one-third of the Democratic base was going to turn out.

"I need for you to show, No. 1, they don't know what they're talking about, that there is no enthusiasm gap. We're enthusiastic, and we're so enthusiastic we're going to elect a Democratic senator and a Democratic governor," he said before shouts and applause at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center drowned out the sound of his voice.

Thurmond, like the other speakers at the forum sponsored by the Columbia County and Richmond County Democratic parties, urged the audience to reach out to their co-workers, neighbors, family and friends to make certain they vote.

"We're going to march to the polls and take America back," he said. "I will see you at the victory parade."

U.S. House District 10 candidate Russell Edwards outlined three campaign issues -- protecting Social Security, unemployment and fiscal responsibility.

"We have great workers," he said. "It's time we set the priority: Made in America."

Edwards, who holds a law degree, criticized incumbent Rep. Paul Broun and the Republicans for their positions and accused Broun of receiving a "one-man bailout" of his failed bank, which, Edwards said, is being audited.

Carol Porter, the candidate for lieutenant governor, took off on incumbent Republican opponent Casey Cagle's latest campaign ad.

"He had the gall to say he protected education funding when they have cut education funding to the bone," she said.

Porter said 25 percent of businesses in Georgia do not turn in their sales tax revenues, and she faulted Cagle for that, and for taxpayers' loss of the Georgia homeowners tax credit.

"What they've done is create a negative economy," she said.

Secretary of state candidate Georganna Sinkfield, who served in the legislature for 28 years, spoke about the importance of voting. She ended by saying, "Get your friends to the polls," and began a chant, "We can. We will."

Secretary of Labor candidate Darryl Hicks said the country is at the most critical time in its history. "You've got to get all of your family and friends to vote," he said. "We've got a life-and-death situation."

Public Service Commission candidate Keith Moffett said the public service office is the most important one on the ballot because decisions on gas and electric rates affect every household in the state.

Early voting

Early voting with photo ID is ongoing in Richmond and Columbia counties. Expanded voting locations and hours will be available during Advance Voting Week, Oct. 25-29.

LOCATIONS:

- Board of Elections Office, Room 104; Augusta Municipal Building, 530 Greene St., Augusta; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays

- Board of Elections Office, 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E, Evans; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays


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