The Democratic Party of Georgia is starting a new chapter with Saturday’s election of DuBose Porter as its chair. Young Democrats from rural areas are especially pleased the new leader hails from outside of Atlanta.
Porter defeated former state Senator Doug Stoner and R.J. Hadley, the party’s vice-chair.
Porter is CEO of the Dublin newspaper. He is also a former state legislator who ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2010.
Some of Georgia’s top Democrats – including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – didn’t back Porter for chairman.
But young Democrats around the state say they know and support him. And they say Porter’s South Georgia roots stand him in good stead.
Alex Rowell is with the University of Georgia Young Democrats group. A Lowndes County native, he says he met Porter during his run for Governor.
“DuBose being from outside of Atlanta will help reach out to some of the areas that typically are not targeted as much by the Democratic Party,” he said. “And Gov. Deal’s policy are really hurting rural Georgia.”
Rowell said in particular, he’s worried about how rural hospitals and schools will continue to deal with budget cuts.
The Republicans hold all statewide offices, and in many parts of Georgia, they often run unopposed in elections.
But DeAndre Jones, a senior at Valdosta State University, says there are Democrats outside of Atlanta.
“I’m really looking forward to him encouraging. Because I think we need to back to the base and encourage people,” he said. “I think there are people out there who know the issues. They want to fight on those issues. They just need someone to lead them.”
Many Democrats downplayed the faction that backed Stoner, rather than Porter.
Steve Golden heads the Young Democrats of Georgia. He says in politics, there are always people who support one candidate over another. But after Saturday’s election, he said it was clear the party would united behind Porter.