Local Democrats Rally In Support Of Candidates

Although they may be swimming against the tide in this year's election, local Democrats say they're hopeful one day Mississippi will endorse their party's pick for president.

On Sunday, John Kerry supporters rallied in Long Beach as part of a grassroots campaign to turn our state "blue".

Memories of the 2000 presidential election are bitter ones for Democrats.

"We don't want it to happen again," said Lora Travnicek, president of the Long Beach Democratic Committee. "This is a real critical election and obviously very close and very exciting. So we're just hoping people can pay attention to what's going on and get out there to vote."

Democrats said they prefer the fresh face of Senator John Kerry rather than four more years of President Bush.

"What we need is someone who can put us together and quit all this divisive stuff that we've got going now. That's what I'm for, one America, and Kerry's the man that can do it," said Democrat Mary Elizabeth Stevens.

The rally is not just about the present race for White House. Long Beach Democrats are also in the middle of their own campaign.

They're organizing a grassroots effort to spread their party's message to what has recently been a strictly Republican state.

"I do not pretend that we're going to carry the state for Kerry here today," said John Tuepker of Long Beach. "But there are a lot of people here who will vote that way and feel good about it. Getting together we know that we are not alone and that's there's other Democrats around. Someday things really will change for the better."

The rally was also in support of the Democratic candidates running in local and state elections.