Democratic Party underscores role of unaffiliated voters
Judging by the service record of several party members, it'd be difficult to say Leavenworth County Democrats are soft on crime.
"I would sure think it would be, especially since the sheriff and district attorney are Democrats and those positions have been held by Democrats for some time," said Pat Cahill, an assistant prosecutor with the Leavenworth County District Attorney's Office and the new chairman of the county's Democratic party.
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The county's Democratic committee selected Cahill as its chairman in August. One of the party's first actions has been opening a party headquarters, 425 Delaware in Leavenworth, where volunteers are busy working to prepare for the November general election.
Although Kansas has typically been a GOP-controlled state and Leavenworth County has been an area just as conservative, Cahill counters the notion that Democrats can't get elected in this area.
"There are a significant number of offices held by Democrats," he said, citing the party affiliation of the district attorney, a county commission member, sheriff and register of deeds among others.
The local Democratic Party has been meeting regularly to prepare for the Nov. 2 general election.
Cahill said meetings have consisted of discussing strategy with local candidates, raising money for campaigns and generally "serving as a focal point" for voters affiliated with the party.
Since the April primary election, Cahill said the county's Democrats have been encouraging voters to consider advanced voting ballots. Studies indicate voters are more likely to cast a ballot via mail, which advanced voting provides, rather than making a trip to the polls. Advanced voting started today in Leavenworth County.
Cahill said the effort to turn voters to advanced voting may help to ensure more voters make their feelings known in the November election, an election deemed critical by the party in determining the course of local, state and national policies during coming years.
"It's a critical year because it will shape the next four years and the kinds of challenges we will face," the chairman said.
Cahill will serve as the party's chairman for Leavenworth County until Aug. 2006, the next primary election.