State Democrats looking forward to their time

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Rickey Cole, chair of the state Democratic Party, said Mississippi’s 40 delegates and 15 other officials are excited about attending the National Democratic Convention.
With the completion of the Republican Convention on Thursday in Tampa, the Democrats will take center stage Monday in Charlotte where they will select President Barack Obama as their nominee to serve four more years.
“They are tickled to death,” said Cole, who also serves as the party’s executive director.
He said the competition to become a delegate was fierce this year.
“We elected less than 50 delegates, but we had more than 500 interested in being a delegate,” he said. “It was kind of like winning the lottery.
“We had a lot more interest than we have had in the past. And it was a diverse group. It was not the usual suspects.”
He said the age of the delegates ranges from 18 to 97 and about 60 percent of the group will be first-time delegates.
The delegates and others from Northeast Mississippi who will be attending the convention in an official capacity are Mamie Cunningham of Okolona, Cristen Hemmins, Marvin King and Canelia Fondren, all of Oxford; Jannette Kirk, Charles Penson, both of Tupelo; Peggy Rogers of Starkville; Jamie Franks of Mooreville.
State Rep. Tommy Reynolds of Charleston, whose district includes part of Lafayette County, and Attorney General Jim Hood, a Chickasaw County native, also will attend in official capacities, as will Albert Gore Jr. of Starkville, who is running this year for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Thad Cochran.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com