Dems rally around candidates
by Beth Sergent
POINT PLEASANT —Monday’s dreary weather didn’t keep local Democrats from showing up to support candidates running for state offices and Congress.
Monday’s gathering, held at The Chef House, was also a “Get Out the Early Vote Rally” with Congressman Nick J. Rahall, former first lady and wife of Sen. Joe Manchin, Gayle Manchin, First Lady Joanne Tomblin, Treasurer John Perdue and Attorney General Darrell McGraw speaking to the party faithful.
James Casey, from the local Democratic party, introduced the various speakers, saying West Virginia Democrats were under attack from out-of-state interests flooding the airways with negative ads. Casey said if this out-of-state money was successful in getting their candidates in office, West Virginia would be like a third world state under the control of outside interests.
Gayle Manchin, West Virginia’s former first lady, was there to campaign for her husband who serves in the U.S. Senate. She said her husband becomes frustrated with the climate in Washington, DC, telling her “common sense is not common in Washington, DC.”
Following Manchin, was Rahall who is running for congress and if elected will represent Mason County which was moved from the second to third Congressional district. Though Rahall is an incumbent with 36 years of experience in Congress, he has never represented Mason County and is a new face to voters. Rahall talked about being concerned with what he called the “Ryan budget,” referencing Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan (R). He said that budget would take the security out of social security, the care out of Medicare and the aid out of Medicaid. Rahall said these programs needed to be protected. He also spoke about his vote against the Iraq War and how he agreed with Sen. Manchin in that the U.S. needed to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.
He then said if he was elected, Mason County would be his first stop when visiting the new third congressional district as its congressman. Rahall said he realized the completion of U.S. 35 was a top priority to residents and he felt his place on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Congress could be helpful in trying to get this project done.
First Lady Tomblin then spoke, saying it was important for Democrats to get out the vote and support their candidates, saying, “we cannot let people buy the state.” Tomblin specifically asked those at the gathering to support the candidates in attendance and those who were unable to attend, like her husband who she said was at the capital building in Charleston monitoring Hurricane Sandy.
Then, longtime political figures Perdue and McGraw spoke, asking for support and for the support of other Democratic candidates. Also in attendance, several local Democratic candidates and office holders.
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