Area Democrats gathered at the Gainesville Convention Center on Tuesday night to welcome and support U.S. Ninth Congressional District candidate David Vogel.
Vogel squares off against incumbent Republican Doug Collins in the general election this November.
Vogel said the turnout of about 50 people at the event shows that his volunteer organizing initiative is working.
But, he added, his candidacy is not benefiting from the competitive challenges posed by Democrats Jason Carter and Michele Nunn in their respective campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.
“They’re sucking up all the money,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hall County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Lock said it is too early to tell if the local party’s rebranding efforts, which include the unveiling of a new headquarters on Athens Street in Gainesville earlier this summer, are paying off.
But Democrats in attendance said they are energized about this year’s slate of candidates.
Mary Carden, of Gainesville, said that while she’s not some wild-eyed liberal, she identifies as a moderate Democrat “because I think.”
Carden added that Republican positions have become nonsensical and beholden to special interests.
John M. Clark, of Elbert County, said he’s been active in politics since the early 1970s.
The U.S. Army veteran said the Democratic Party abandoned the working class in the last decade or so, but things are beginning to turn around.
“We always keep the faith,” he said, adding that he’s a firm believer in the power of grass-roots movements to affect political change.
And it’s a grass-roots movement Vogel is banking on to compete with Collins.
Paula Golden, a volunteer for Vogel’s campaign, said she is working hard making calls and doing everything she can to turn out the vote for Vogel.
The Demorest resident said she identifies as a progressive and feels Democrats have their “best chance in a long while” to restake their claim in Georgia this year.