Democrats from counties throughout Missouri attended the Central Missouri Democrat Day on Saturday, which aimed to unite Democrats and raise money. Featured speakers were Gov. Bob Holden and former Gov. Roger Wilson, who spoke in place of State Auditor Claire McCaskill.
Both Holden and McCaskill are running for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Holden spoke to a large group of people that included 25th District Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, Ninth District democratic candidate Linda Jacobsen and First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton.
"It's a pleasure to be in Boone County, a county that has provided Democratic leadership for many years," Holden said after he greeted the crowd.
Issues highlighted in Holden's speech included health care, employment and education. Holden said he is concerned Republicans may try to cut the MC-Plus for kids program that provides health care coverage for children for $100 per month per child. He said that if it were cut, health care would be eliminated for 444 Boone County children.
"In Boone County, children were too sick or too poor to afford health care," Holden said. "That is morally wrong and economically shortsighted."
Holden said he was not happy with Republican leadership in the nation and said that Boone County Democrats are not fooled by the Republican rhetoric.
"The Republicans say education is the number one issue, and it is," Holden said. "It's the first on the chopping block."
Holden said Missouri has doubled the national rate for job growth, created more jobs than any surrounding state and proven that you can be pro-business without being anti-worker.
"And the Republicans promised jobs, but they forgot to mention they were in Mexico, China and India," Holden said.
In addition to hearing Holden speak, Democrats were hoping to raise funds to be used to open the Boone County Democratic headquarters in Columbia within the next month. Headquarters are usually opened in August.
"We don't normally open it until August, but this is an important year so we'll probably open the 15th of May and it will be open through November," said Charley Christie, chairman of the Boone County Democratic Central Committee.
Many of those in attendance said they were pleased with the all-day festivities, and purpose of the event.
"It's to give people an opportunity to come together to get to know candidates, get to know issues, and get ready for the election ahead," Wilson said.