Election season kicks off in Meridian

For Tim Quick, who serves as assistant secretary for the Lauderdale County Democratic Party, the Obama campaign is about moving back into the political climate of the 1960s.

“I think this country went off track in the 196’s,” Quick said. “There was leadership to try to take us in the right sort of direction – the Kennedy’s, Martin Luther King – and they were all shot … So this in my opinion is an opportunity to go back in the direction we would have gone in had Bobby Kennedy been president.”

The air at Obama Fest 2008 was thick with excitement, but the Democrats aren’t the only one’s getting ready for the election. The Lauderdale County Republican Executive Committee has some plans up its sleeve as well, according to one of its district representatives, Jamie Peavy.

“We’re starting to plan a bunch of events,” Peavy said, “everything from voter registration drives to going door to door. Nothing is in stone yet, but we’re going to make some things happen.”

This year’s presidential election will make history no matter who wins. Either Obama will be the first black president in the U.S., or 71 year-old Republican Presumptive Nominee John McCain will become the oldest person to be elected to a first term as U.S. President. Currently, Ronald Reagan, who was 69 when first elected, holds that record.

This has already been a significant election for Mississippi. Because presidential primary elections are usually decided before Mississippi’s primary is held, our state usually receives little attention from primary candidates. But this year’s Democratic primary candidates were neck in neck until long after our March 10 election, so both visited the state to campaign.

McCain visited Meridian on his biographical tour, and spoke at the MSU-Riley Center for the Performing Arts about his roots here. McCain served as a flight instructor at NAS-Meridian for several years during the 1960’s.

In addition to presidential politics, Meridianites can expect to hear of more activity from 3rd Congressional District candidates Joel Gill, Democrat, and Gregg Harper, Republican, in the coming months, as well as Senatorial candidates Sen. Roger Wicker, Republican, and former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove, Democrat. Both these offices, as well as the local offices of school board and election commissioner, will be on the Lauderdale County ballot in November.

Meridian Star
7/6/08