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Horry Democrats hope to retain '08 support

The Horry County Democratic Party was enthusiastic Saturday at the number of people who showed up for the party's precinct reorganization meetings.

Nationwide, there have been concerns among Democrats about whether the support shown in the 2008 presidential election will be sustained in this year's mid-term elections. The Horry County Democrats gathered in smaller numbers to decide which members would be responsible for their voting precincts and which would be delegates to the county and statewide conventions this year. With a governor's race and several statewide elections looming, local Democrats said they were hopeful that participation would continue to be strong.

"We still have good interest from people because of the governor's race and the statewide races. I think the turnout will be about as high as it was in that fall," said Rupert Hickman, the credentials coordinator for the Horry County Democratic Party. "With the economy the way that it is, we have a lot of people who are losing jobs and people wanting their voices to be heard."

Candidates are also hoping the support and interest will be strong this year. S.C. Superintendent of Schools Jim Rex, a candidate for governor, and a campaign representative for District 1 congressional candidate Robert Burton both came to several of the reorganization meetings.

"It was great to have them come out and talk about how important the precinct level work is," said Alester Pryor, the executive committee member heading the meeting at the Grand Strand Baptist Church for the Forestbrook and Carolina Forest precincts. "We had a fairly big turnout, but it was less than the interest we had for Obama and the presidential election."

Party officials did not know whether captains and delegates had been assigned for all of the precincts and districts. The executive committee will meet Monday to discuss the conventions and results of the precinct reorganizations.

Kenneth Prescott, who moved to Carolina Forest with his wife in June, signed up to represent his precinct at the state convention. Prescott served as a city councilman when he lived in New Jersey and has been active in politics for years.

"I wanted to do this to make sure all of the people who live here are represented fairly," he said. "With everything that's happening right now ... it's definitely more important to stay involved and support the party."