Locals calling for Presidential candidates

Friday, September 7, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Tennessee isn't a political battleground state leading up to the Presidential election Nov. 6, but Marshall County residents are making phone calls on behalf of the incumbent and his challenger.

The Marshall County Republican Party is establishing a telephone call center at 215 West Commerce St., and a Lewisburg-based Obama For America Committee has coordinated a campaign by personal cell phones.

And while it would appear there were no local Republicans at the GOP convention in Tampa, seven local Democrats traveled to see President Barack Obama in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Bad weather, however, forced the Democratic National Convention to continue in its smaller venue, Time Warner Cable Arena.

"It was disappointing news, but it didn't stop us from going," Lewisburg Obama For America (OFA) Committee Chair Ametrice "Meechie" Biggers said Thursday morning while traveling in a bus caravan through Ashville, N.C.

Barring an unforeseen change of plans, Biggers said she and six others from Marshall County will "probably not go to the convention." She anticipated that they'd "probably go to a watch party, or be in touch with one. We'll probably watch it on TV or on a Jumbotron."

Meanwhile, Marshall County Republican Women's Club voted to have a new location for its GOP office, according to Janet Heckle's report during the most recent meeting of the local party. It's next to what was the Computer Tutor business office on West Commerce Street. More volunteers were being sought for shifts on Tuesdays and Fridays.

"This won't be a political battleground state," said Lewisburg resident Billy Spivey, the GOP candidate for a seat in the state House to represent Marshall County. "But we can help. They can use us for a phone bank."

Theo Vallas, a field representative for Tennessee Republican Party, said Thursday phones are to be hooked up for a call center next week.

Vallas has a decade of experience with the GOP, having campaigned against Bill Clinton.

"We use our own cell phones," Biggers said early this week. A Democratic Party state director provides call lists to target areas including Florida and North Carolina. The OFA documents respondents' answers and helps people connect with their local party.

On the bus with Biggers were her sister, Deborah Lewis, sister-in-law, Linda Lewis, Ida Hill, Pam London, Renae Freeman and Vernell Marshall. They boarded the bus in Murfreesboro.

State Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) said at the most recent county GOP meeting, the Nov. 6 election offers Republicans an opportunity to increase their majorities in the state Legislature, so campaigning for Mitt Romney will offer an opportunity to campaign for lawmakers and those including Spivey who are campaigning to be elected to the General Assembly.