Local and district Democratic candidates gave brief talks Saturday night at a dinner meeting of the Jeffersonian Democratic Club and the county Democratic committee.

Local and district Democratic candidates gave brief talks Saturday night at a dinner meeting of the Jeffersonian Democratic Club and the county Democratic committee.

"We've got to get behind our candidates," Greg Stratman, candidate for District 62 state representative, said. His district includes parts of seven counties, including northern Phelps County.

Phelps County is divided between four legislative districts, and Stratman, of Vienna, is the only Democratic candidate. The other three districts have unopposed Republicans running. Tom Hurst, R-Meta, is also seeking the 62nd District office.

Stratman (not the Greg Stratman who is on the Rolla Board of Education) said if he is elected he will continue to attend Phelps County Democratic events.

"I expect to be your representative in Jefferson city," he said.

"You're going to have to be," said Janet McKean, president of the Jeffersonian club.

Charles "Bud" Dean, Phelps County commissioner for District No. 2, is in his 12th year on the commission. He said the county is facing the same financial questions that families have as they look at inome that remains steady while costs increase.

Fuel costs in particular are increasing sharply. This impacts the road and bridge department, the health department and the sheriff's department most heavily.

"We'll do the best we can with what we have in a fair and equitable budget," he said.

Colin Long, of Waynesville, candidate for circuit judge, said, "What you want is a judge with experience, and I'm the candidate with proven experience."

"What you don't want to see is politics injected in a courtroom. We follow the law and the facts,' he said.

Gloria Tefft and Judge Ron White reviewed ballot issues and other election-related information.

Tafft said voters will be asked to change the way judges are selected in the non-partisan system by voting in a Legislature-backed constitutional amendment.

Also on the ballot will be a proposition related to the St. Louis Police Department, a proposition to raise the tobacco tax and a proposition to limit access to the health-care exchanges that will be formed under authority of the federal health-care law. Tefft encouraged the Democrats to study each of these proposals carefully.

She also noted consolidation of polling places continues with Rolla Outside South voting at the Rolla Elks Lodge at the November election.

"Make sure everybody gets to the polls," she said.

Judge White talked about the proposed change in the Non-Partisan Court Plan, which has been a model for other states since it began in 1946 in Missouri.

The change will put more power in the hands of whoever is governor, he said, for the governor will appoint most of the members of the commission that selects the judicial candidates in the cities and the appellate districts.

Art Cole, chairman of the Eighth Congressional District Democratic Committee, talked about "taking back" offices, and he encouraged adopting a long-term strategy.

"Gear up and get ready for 2018 in the 16th District," he said, noting that Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, will likely run for re-election in 2014.

Cole said he hopes to live to see a change in the Eighth District.

"I'm 71. We've got to get a Democrat to the U.S. Congress before I die," he said.

Janet McKean, president of the Jeffersonian Democratic Club, noted the county Democratic headquarters has been open for several weeks at 612 Pine St.

"We have a great office," she said. Thanks to volunteers, it is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Sunday.

Voter registration is open from noon to 2 p.m. daily at the headquarters.

McKean said volunteers are needed to be at the office on Halloween night to give out treats.

The headquarters might also be a gathering place to watch the presidential and vice-presidential debates, she said.

On Nov. 9 there will be a party at the headquarters. McKean expects it will be a celebration following the Nov. 6 election.

"We are going to have champagne,” she said.

A yard sale is planned for Oct. 12-13 and volunteers are needed to help with this major fundraiser, McKean said.

An Oct. 18 steak dinner in Vienna for Nixon was also announced. It will be at the Eagles Club.

A large turnout is expected, for Oct. 12-13 will be a busy weekend at S&T; it is also the Saturday for the Downtown Arts and Crafts Festival.

Looking ahead, McKean said there will be a Christmas dinner and silent auction at the Dec. 4 meeting.

January will be a potluck dinner meeting with an interesting speaker, a public forum could be held in February, the Truman Day dinner will be in April.