I, Keith MacCants, hereby declare my candidacy for Chairman of the 2nd Congressional District
The Georgia Democratic Party is at a definite crossroads right now in the state of Georgia after the loss of every constitutional office for the first time ever, in addition the loss of several democrats who defected the party in recent weeks to join the GOP. As a conservative democrat who views reflect that of a libertarian, it saddens me to see so many of the rural democrats bolt the party, some I understand, some I do not.
The democratic party has to & needs to get back to the center or its lights out for the party for good. As one of the very few conservative democrats who open identify himself as a democrat remaining here in rural georgia, I hope to bring a center/right point of view to a state party that I feel is straying farther & farther away from its roots.
One key is the development of local county democratic party chapters. As republicans consolidate power in Atlanta & the debate over the democratic party's future roils the party, I hope to be among a new wave of activist to do moe than rebrand an out of power party. Like the activism that laid the foundation for the republican party rise to promonence here in the state, a movement is growing within the democratic party, independent from the National Party's Leadership, which we need to start small & look locally. Getting folks to join county democraic party committ involves them in the political process, forming a base of seasoned players.
Republicans did a very good job. They organized themselves. Democrats definitely got a wakeup call.
The Georgia Democratic Party's problems are deeper than a lack of organization. They have lost the trust of the people of Georgia. Although the big picture might look bleak for the party, I see gains can be made locally. The real strength of the party will be local (Commisisoner, Mayoral, State Representative, etc). You can't start from the top down, you have to really build the party neighborhood by neighborhood by neighborhood. The GOP have done that well & we can take a page out of their book.
We need to build a farm team so we can have candidates ready to compete at the federal level when we need them.
The phase "Farm Team" what basebell franchises call the minoe league system to develop talent is more than a metaphor. A "Farm Team" can be used to teach activist how to be politicans, how to raise money, hire staff, write & deliver stump speeches, & focus borad ideas into policies. What's the easiest entry point, school baord or Congress? Its not as sexy, but there's a lot that goes on.....half of more government spending is state & local.
As Chairman of the 2nd Congressional District, this will be one of my man goals. With a strong bench of democratic prospects coming down the pipeline, that will enable the Georgias Democratic Party to sustain a strong & steady presence here in the state for years, decades to come.
A new grassroots iniative that includes reaching out to conservative churches, pro-business associations, etc are also key in developing the party on the local level. Dems rely on less personal tactics for grassroots outreach such as artifical, virtual networks & professional canvassers. Many of these hires do not have a connection to the area they are working in, so this approach to gain the vote & getting out the vote fails to capitalize on existing personal bonds among like-minded democrats. As Chair, this will be one of the issues that I will stress to county party chapters in reaching out in attracting like-minded individuals.
-Democrats can't keep ignoring their base, even the moderate/conservative democrats can't ignore it & expect to win over & over again.
-Democrats must reconnect with the energy of the grassroots
-A party that ignores the needs of the state & local parties is doomed
-And the party has to continue to reach out to white male voters even if the GOP continues to get 70-80% of their vote
The Party needs to expand into new communities: As Chair of the 2nd Congressional District, I will identify communities & organizations to approach where we can begin to recruit new voters. These communities include the Target Outreach Communities. I'll work with candidates & party members to develop oir positive message in a way that effectiveky commnunicates our principles and policy akternatives to these communuties. We will begin showing a presence in places that are not rraditional places for the Democratic Party to be seen, & we will collect comtact info to effetively communicate to these communities in the future. This will be done in two ways, which I will be getting to later.
When I first mentioned to a few close friends of mine about running for this position, they thought I was crazy to do it, that it could affect me in my potential run for County Commissioner or City Council this summer & that I would lose. Some have even suggested that I switch parties & become the first Republican to win a elected office here in my home county ever since the old-guard democrats who are in power have basically run the entire county in the ground (Macon Co is the 2nd poorest county in the state). I fought off the attempts of those to persuade me to leave the party, but I'm still a democrat because I'm not a opportunist, plus my loyalty is strong only to a "certain point" & I champion public schools, family farmers & those who can't, let me repeat, CAN'T do for themselves.
The party of Russell, Nunn, Miler, Barnes is now in the history books & its now time to write a new chapter in the book of the Georgia Democratic Party, while not straying too far from its roots that have a rich tradition of strong democratic governors, senators, congressmen, mayors, etc. Things will not turn around overnight, it will require time, patience, discipline, & committment, along with a message that resonates with the vast majority of Georgia Voters.
The time is now, its either now or never. I'd be honored to become the next chairman of the 2nd Congressional District.
Founder & Operator of Peanut Politics
Interim Vice-Chairman of Macon County Democratic Party
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