Democrats feel new energy

Elected Democrats from the area met at a downtown club.
Thursday, March 18, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:35 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 29, 2008

“Energy” was the buzzword of choice for Missouri Democrats celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Columbia.

That energy, however, didn’t come from the spirits that usually accompany the holiday.

A crowd of about 50 people from nearby counties gathered Wednesday at Deja Vu, a downtown nightclub, to network, decompress and reflect on ousting Republicans. Somewhat absent from the discussion, however, was debate regarding State Auditor Claire McCaskill’s challenge for Gov. Bob Holden’s job.

Both Democrats running for the state’s top executive seat have some support among Boone County Democrats, said Judy Baker, a Democratic candidate for state representative for Columbia.

Party offers Democrats chance to socialize

The party’s statewide office sponsored the event, which executive director Jim Kottmeyer said was a good way for mid-Missouri’s party faithful to share in a laid-back moment.

“There’s no more Democratic holiday than St. Patrick’s Day,” Kottmeyer said.

With pop 1980s’ music blaring around them, attendees seemed more interested in strengthening political bonds than cutting a rug.

Cole County Democrat Gary Kern, a party delegate and state employee, said the number of job losses in the United States and the outrage over federal tax cuts have pushed more people toward his delegation recently.

It’s that kind of disillusionment, Kottmeyer said, that demonstrates how the political climate is turning in the party’s favor.

Kottmeyer excited about party's statewide newspaper

Kottmeyer pointed to the healthy turnout last Saturday for the party’s annual organizing weekend for campaign workers and the reception he’s received from members about the first issue of the party’s new statewide newspaper, Show-Me Dispatch.

The monthly paper, he said, is something he hopes will address the vacuum of political expression and an untapped market for the Democratic point of view.

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