Amid fanfare and politicking, U.S. District 8 Rep. Larry Kissell ceremonially opened a campaign office in Laurinburg on Thursday at the Scotland County Democratic headquarters on Main Street.
Congressman Kissell said that he hoped the move would convince Scotland County voters of their importance to his campaign.
“I don’t know of any way we can say any stronger how important Scotland County is to us than to put an office here,” Kissell said following the gathering, which drew local and state party and campaign officials and candidates, along with nearly 50 local Democrats.
With high unemployment and an industrial sector decimated by outsourcing, Kissell said that Scotland County has a lot in common with his home county of Montgomery. For that reason, Kissell expects strong voter support in Scotland County on Nov. 6.
“The relationship between the two counties is close. The same issues that caused me to run in the first place — the loss of jobs and bad trade deals — what hit Scotland County is the same as what hit Montgomery County. People (in Scotland County) understand that and we’ll do fine in November,” said Kissell.
Hosted by the Scotland County Democratic Women, the event also served as the ceremonial field office opening for President Barack Obama’s campaign in the county. Representing the president was campaign worker Hayden Haskins.
Haskins took the opportunity to announce campaign activities that will take place this Saturday. Known as “Knock for Barack,” Saturday’s volunteer driven campaigning will include canvassing and phone banking, Haskins said. Interested locals are invited to participate by appearing at the party headquarters.
“It’s important that we don’t let Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, with their speeches that even Fox News calls ‘deceptive,’ dictate this race. It’s people like you that go out and talk to their neighbors and friends and family that will bring this one home for the president,” Haskins said to the assembly. “It’s important that you guys get involved and help us win this one.”
Haskins said that the newly-christened campaign office will begin highlighting the clear choice between Romney and Obama following the Thursday event. The office is also expected to host gatherings during the DNC.
“We’re trying to put together some watch parties for the convention,” Haskins.
Rockingham Mayor and NC Senate candidate Gene McLaurin was also at the gathering. McLaurin roamed the room, speaking with those in attendance about his plans for the state.
Also in attendance were elected officials State Senator Bill Purcell, former NC House representative Doug Yongue, Scotland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Davis and Commissioner Carol McCall. June Mabry, NC District 8 Democratic Party Chair also attended.