Monday, August 07, 2006

Larry Kissell, NC-08: The Politics of Barbecue

If you're from North Carolina you are familiar with the tradition of mixing politicking with barbecue. What could be more natural since North Carolina is known for its barbecue? Saturday, Larry Kissell, candidate for the U.S. House in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District held a fundraiser featuring barbecue from the Murphy House and sauces from eateries around the district.

The barbecue was great, but the enthusiasm of the crowd toward Kissell's candidacy was even better. Several traveled the 2.5 hours from Charlotte to support Larry and many others were there from in and outside the district. Representatives David Price and Brad Miller were both there to endorse Larry and both received a warm reception.

Campaign Chair, Dannie Montgomery (pictured here with Tina Kissell), led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and gave a spirited speech reminding us that the folks who don't know what the Democrats stand for will find out in November. The Master of Ceremonies was Montgomery County Commissioner, Jackie Morris. Jerry Meek, Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, also stopped by to cheer Larry on and enjoy some barbecue.

As much enthusiasm as we all feel for Larry's candidacy, there is a very serious reason why it is so important and Representative David Price reminded us why Larry is so important, not only to North Carolina, but to the rest of the country. He referred back to 1994.
This time, This time I think a similar upheaval is in the making. Only this time the folks in the dark are a Republican President and a Republican Congress walking in lockstep and driving this country over a cliff with a fiscal meltdown and a diplomatic meltdown. The country desperately needs a change.
Larry Kissell will be part of that change. He was greeted on stage by a rousing round of applause and cheers. Larry referenced the excellent campaign promotion he and his staff held in Biscoe. He mentioned that it had made national news and was featured on CNN, but he also stressed that it wasn't about the publicity. His candidacy boils down to simply helping the people of the 8th district.

He also said something that may have been directed more to those of us working on multiple campaigns. Sometimes the south is ignored by those in Washington when looking at Democratic races. It is frustrating and that's probably why I really liked it when Larry had this to say:
North Carolina will soon be known as the state that did the most to bring this congress back into Democratic hands.
This one statement brought almost as much applause as anything else said all night. Well, except for the standing ovation Larry received.

Representative Brad Miller and his wife attended. Brad has done so much to help Larry. It was great to hear him speak. He has a special reason for wanting Larry to win this race. It turns out it doesn't have as much to do with a Democratic majority in Washington as it does the fact that he wants his mother to have a good Democrat representing her. She just so happens to live in the 8th District.

This party served up more than just barbecue and politics, though. The Blue Horizon played some awesome bluegrass music. They are a band from Montgomery County and it would have been easy to party on into the night with them.

There was a special guest that didn't appear on stage and I was happy to meet her toward the end of the event. Larry's mother traveled to Raleigh to support her son. She's 91 years old and is truly lovely. I still have a hard time believing she's 91.

Another reason I had so much fun is that I finally had a chance to meet some of my fellow BlueNC bloggers and commenters. I mentioned that in a post here. Other BlueNCers were attending Heath Shuler's fundraiser over in Western North Carolina, so we were certainly making the rounds on Saturday and there will be plenty more opportunities to support our Democratic candidates between now and November 7.

I don't think it's a secret that I believe in Larry Kissell and support his candidacy. It is next to impossible for me to be objective when writing about his campaign. I'm just going to add lots of pictures and links to even more pictures so you can judge for yourselves.

Please click here to go to the album for these pictures.


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