Phelps County Democrats Friday night drank champagne and offered toasts for wins by the president, the governor and the county sheriff.
“We have four wonderful years,” Jeffersonian Democratic Club President Janet McKean said of the Democratic wins, especially that of President Barak Obama.
Obama’s victory will give the party a chance to continue the work started during the president’s first term, she noted.
“All the wonderful things we’ve looked for will come to pass,” McKean said.
The Democrats met at their campaign headquarters in the 600 block of Pine Street for a combined election celebration and meeting of the Jeffersonian Democratic Club.
McKean said the night of the election, for her, was like the night in 1814 when Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
It was a night of despair and disillusionment for Key, but those emotions gave way to hope and victory. McKean said she felt the same as the election returns were reported on Tuesday night. She read the poem, which later became the national anthem.
“O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” read McKean, choking back emotion. “Thank God, it does,” she said.
There was other emotion expressed at the celebration and meeting.
The Rev. Robert Rogers, an ordained minister who describes himself as the “casual chaplain” of the Democratic club, noted fervently that conservatives are not the only Christians in the nation.
“The right wing does not have control of the Christian faith,” he said. “We (Christians) are all over the place, and some of us are on the left.”
McKean also noted that while the party won both the presidency and the governor’s office for second terms, there is much to do, especially in Phelps County.
“Our first goal is to expand the Democratic base,” she said.
Democrats lost three races affecting Phelps County: Bud Dean lost to Gary Hicks for the county commissioner’s post; Colin Long lost to Bill Hickle for the 25th Judicial Circuit judgeship and Greg Stratman lost to Tom Hurst in the 62nd Legislative District.
Sheriff Rick Lisenbe won re-election and attended the celebration. He was applauded, and he encouraged all present to turn their attention immediately to the elections that will take place two years from now.
McKean said the club’s second goal is to continue supporting candidates, as was done in this election. She noted the amount of money collected for donating to the candidates, as well as the number of voluntary hours given to keep the campaign headquarters open.
All volunteers were honored, and special appreciation was given to Selden Trimble.
The third goal for the coming year is education of the club and the community, and McKean said she hopes the club can put on another forum this winter. The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, will likely be the topic.
Page 2 of 2 - The club’s Christmas dinner will be Dec. 4 at Christ Episcopal Church, McKean announced.