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Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 1:04pm

Democrats Court Voters Outside Atlanta

The party that ruled Georgia politics for a century has been losing ground for a decade.

Republicans now control the legislature and all constitutional offices.

So state Democrats want to reach voters outside of the party’s base in Atlanta.

Party leaders admit Democrats have all but ignored Georgians who don’t live in the state capitol.

Recently-elected chair Mike Berlon says opening a field office in Augusta is a step toward changing that.

"We’re hoping by setting these offices up that we can get people to come back to the Democratic Party and they can see us and they can trust us," says Berlon. "When you don’t see anybody anywhere for years they’re not going to vote for you."

The Augusta office is the first of nine planned for the state including ones in Valdosta and Macon.

They will serve as the party’s regional headquarters for candidate recruitment, phone banking and voter canvassing.