Democrats rally for local races

Al Lawson

Al Lawson

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 03:10 PM.

If anyone was wondering if Franklin County Democrats were fired up for the upcoming election, they got their answer Saturday afternoon in Eastpoint.

About 50 of the party faithful gathered under sunny skies at Millender Park, to listen to a series of hard-charging appeals from three candidates as to why they offer a better alternative than their Republican opponents.

Mercedes Updyke, chair of the Democratic Executive Committee, introduced the three men who are campaigning, as well as three other county Democratic officeholders, Tax Collector Jimmy Harris and Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper, neither of whom faced opponents, and retiring Property Appraiser Doris Pendleton.

Updyke said that Organizing for America registered two new voters at the picnic, with all leftover food donated to the Apalachicola Food Bank. 

Harris used his time under the pavilion to stress his office’s open door policy, welcoming questions and concerns. He said the office’s most recent purchase was an AS400 computer, for $47,000, “which is the brains we use to collect taxes. Most counties won’t share theirs with the property appraiser, but we always shared an AS400. I know $47,000 sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but our last machine lasted eight years.”

First to speak was Liberty County Clerk of Courts Robert Hill, running for state representative in the newly drawn House District 7, which now encompasses all of Franklin County. Hill is facing Republican Halsey Beshears, a Tallahassee nurseryman.

Hill’s vote total in the Democratic primary was about the same as the total number of votes cast for all the Republicans, but the 64-year-old Hill urged supporters not to look past the Nov. 6 election.

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