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Democratic party pushes for change in Lincoln County

Democrats have a new national party chairman and it’s Tom Perez, who was labor secretary under President Barack Oback.

Delegates from Mississippi at the National Democratic Committee celebrated the victory of Tom Perez as party chairman, even while still pushing for Democratic leadership in Lincoln County and the rest of the state.

“His platform that the party should focus on building the economy, growing better-paying jobs, and helping families is the same message Mississippians believe in,” said Bobby Moak, of Bogue Chitto.

Moak, the state Democratic Party chair, was in Atlanta for the vote. “As a former Secretary of Labor, he has the contacts, experience, and background to lead this inclusive effort in the Democratic Party,” he said.

Perez won over Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, in the second round of Democrats have a new national party chairman and it’s Tom Perez, who was labor secretary under President Barack Oback.

Delegates from Mississippi at the National Democratic Committee celebrated the victory of Tom Perez as party chairman, even while still pushing for Democratic leadership in Lincoln County and the rest of the state.

“His platform that the party should focus on building the economy, growing better-paying jobs, and helping families is the same message Mississippians believe in,” said Bobby Moak, of Bogue Chitto.

Moak, the state Democratic Party chair, was in Atlanta for the vote. “As a former Secretary of Labor, he has the contacts, experience, and background to lead this inclusive effort in the Democratic Party,” he said.

Perez won over Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, in the second round of voting Saturday by DNC members.

Perez and Ellison each pledged to rebuild state and local parties, including in Republican-dominated states. Both said the party must capitalize on widespread opposition to Trump but also work to reach frustrated working-class voters who felt abandoned by Democrats and embraced Trump.

“There was an impressive list of candidates for this office. Not one of those candidates espoused rancor or negative remarks for any person not affiliated with this party. It was rather the opposite,” he said. “There was a general message of not only binding the party faithful together but addressing the need to work across party lines on those issues that affect us all.

“Stressing the creation of good jobs, protecting the stability of the American economy, and protecting our system of democracy were common themes of every candidate that mirrored the DNC members’ positions. Not to be lost was the real conversation making certain state organizations receive proper funding. We look forward to being a vital part of and working with the new administration.”

Moak said the party is targeting cities throughout the state to get Democrats on the ballot for municipal elections. The qualifying deadline is March 3. “We have conducted meetings since last October in towns and cities around the state. We have targeted more cities than anytime in the past,” he said. “The budget mess that has not been addressed by leadership in Jackson cannot go unanswered. We elect municipal officers not only to handle hometown problems but vest them with authority to be our voice to make sure we get back the funding needed for roads, bridges and other local needs. When that doesn’t happen our local taxes go up. If city officers are not participating on our behalf with state and legislative leaders to voice concerns it is time to challenge that void at the ballot box.”

Moak said the Democratic Party targeted Oxford, Starkville, Ocean Springs, Meridian and Tupelo last election. “We won or held every city mayor’s position during that cycle and are using that model to work this election cycle in 150 of our top towns around the state where we can be successful,” he said.

In Lincoln County, the party has a county and a municipal committee. Statewide, the party has been in a rebuild mode since Aug. 1, 2016 when new state leadership took over. Moak said they’ve made tremendous strides in fundraising  and administrative procedures including data procurement and development.

“There are real issues for candidates to run on,” he said. “Asking why Mississippi is 26,000 jobs short of where we were at the end of 2007, or behind Louisiana as the worst place for business, why local taxes are being raised while large corporations receive tax breaks are all issues state and city leaders need to answer. There will be fact-based municipal campaigns waged around the state this summer.”

Moak feels Democrats are more unified more than ever. “There has been an unexplainable awakening of Democrats and independents that are concerned about the economy, jobs and education,” he said. “They are concerned about whether their child will find a good job here at home when they graduate high school or college. Parents are worried that if they lose their job today can they find another one tomorrow. That lack of local and state leadership in addressing those basic issues are uniting people  behind candidates that can offer solutions and action instead of just following a party line.”

He said Democrats have reacted to the Trump administration so far just as the general populace has. “There have been concerns about constitutionally proper orders, reworking programs by limiting private and public healthcare options and renegotiating international treaties that will affect Mississippi farmers or national security,” he said. “I think the public will make their own decisions about the administration as time progresses. We all will watch and wait while taking notes.”

Bobby Moak

Bobby Moak