Two notable Democrats visited the Fayette County Democratic Headquarters Saturday afternoon during its grand opening to discuss the upcoming election and rally support for their cause.
The Fayette County Democrats welcomed guests, Scott Wharton, U.S. Congressional candidate for the Ohio 15th District, and David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. Wharton stopped at about 1 p.m. and stayed throughout, but started the event by talking a little about himself and his reasons for running.
“I grew up in Amanda, which is near Lancaster, and is a small, rural farming community,” Wharton said. “I put myself through high school and college working at my father’s hardware store. I graduated from Amanda Clearcreek and Ohio University. I am a retired Air Force pilot, a ‘Desert Storm’ veteran, and I took that education and turned it into a career at Delta Airlines. Finally, I own and operate the Flying W Farm, with the keyword of operate there. I am a self-taught farmer, which is something I am proud of, and I have been doing it for 15 years.”
Wharton tackled a few issues, including the economy, during the grand opening, where he said he thinks the state has the largest problem. He said he’s focused on the recovery of the economy.
“We have come through the worst financial times of my life and I am certain in most of yours,” Wharton said. “And I think about how my family is doing in this economic recovery. If you are a bank, Wall Street or in the insurance industry, this has been a great recovery. Corporate profits are up, you are paying dividends, you are doing stock buy-backs and paying out bonuses. It has been good, basically, if you are wealthy, a stock-holder and a corporation. But how about the rest of us? Your families are probably a lot like mine and are doing a little better now than during the recession, but not nearly as good as we were prior to the Great Recession. That is because, between now and prior to the Great Recession, median income in the U.S. is down $3,700. That puts us at the 1996 level, which means the working class hasn’t had a literal pay raise in 20 years.”
Pepper was able to visit the headquarters later in the afternoon. The Democrat state spokesman commended the efforts of local Democratic offices, such as Fayette County, for keeping them informed and working throughout this election. Pepper said he recently visited an equivalent supporting office for Donald Trump and reported that they were practically doing nothing this election.
“We are working very hard as a party to have sample ballots, slate cards, mailers, you name it, and to make sure we lift candidates at all levels as they run,” Pepper said. “We have been building a party for the last year and a half for a tight election. We haven’t been preparing for a blowout and I don’t know how you would even prepare for that. We have been preparing for Ohio to look exactly how it always looks, which is pretty close. So the good news is, we have a major league ground game. Thousands of volunteers register thousands of people every week and they are doing a great job. We are replicating what Barack Obama did to win. Which is, in a close race, the more organized side wins. They get their voters out, register more, get people voting early and get them out on Election Day.”
Overall, the headquarters welcomed a nice crowd and served refreshments throughout the event. Beginning Monday, the regular hours of operation of the Fayette County Democratic Party Headquarters will be Monday-Thursday, 12-8 p.m., and closed on Sundays. For more information, call 740-620-4203.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy