BILOXI — Democrats know they face some formidable opponents — chief among them the belief they are all but nonexistent on the Gulf Coast, one of the most conservative congressional districts in the nation.
More than 100 Democrats gathered at the Donal Snyder Community Center on Thursday to hear three of their candidates — Trish Causey and Matt Moore in the District 4 Congressional race and Travis Childers in the U.S. Senate race — advocate for an increase in the minimum wage, health care coverage for the working poor, women’s rights and other issues near and dear to the party. But most of all, they wanted to get the word out that there are Democrats running and that Democrats shouldn’t be tempted to vote in Republican primaries in hopes of electing weaker candidates.
“Rumors of the demise of Gulf Coast Democrats are greatly exaggerated,” said Childers, who talked about the importance of public education both in his life — he worked his way through college with the help of a Pell Grant and a small loan — and his children’s lives — his college education allowed him to help them get theirs. He railed against Republican efforts to pass school voucher laws that would provide government money to send children to private schools.
“We cannot let the other side dismantle public education,” he said. “We know their intent.”