So how about Kamala Harris??? She will make us a great VP!

This is a “heads-up – a new logo for Gilmer Dems is in the works. Teresa Suarez and Leslie Wade are working on it and will have something for you to comment on in the near future. Watch for it!

We are happy to tell you that we will be hosting as many candidates as we can between now and November 11. Our guests this month, via Zoom, will be candidates in the “jungle” race for U.S. Senate, Richard Dien Winfield and Matt Lieberman.

If you got this as an e-mail, you will get another early on the day of the meeting, Thursday, August 20. It will include an invitation to join the meeting and will contain a link to the meeting. If you don’t have the Zoom ap, you can download it for free. After it is installed, all you have to do is click on the link in the invitation e-mail, and you will be taken to the meeting. If you don’t hear anyone right away, hang on and give the host a moment to admit you.

If you know someone who would like to join the meeting but is not on our e-mail list, ask them to follow the directions in the notice above to participate.

Also mark your calendar for our September 17 meeting. Our guests will be two more U.S. Senate candidates, Mr. Ed Tarver and Rev. Raphael Warnock.

See you Thursday!

P.S. Thanks to Shyla Brenan and Eunice Rosner, who served as poll watchers for the run-off on August 11.

New GCDC Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Gilmer County Democratic Committee.

Co-chairs:  Noah May and Melba Gandy
Vice Chair:  Bob Zolten
Secretary:  Joanne Locascio
Treasurer:  Terry Woehr.

Thanks for your service!


An election event will happen with Gilmer Democrats on July 23, Thursday evening, at 6:00 p.m.

Brooke Sisken, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, has requested a Zoom meeting with us.  Brooke is in the Dem run-off, to be decided at the polls on August 11, against Devin Pandy.  

If you have not attended a Zoom meeting before, you may want to download and install the Zoom app before the meeting.  It is free.
Teresa Suarez will serve as co-host for the meeting.  She will admit you to the meeting and both of us will review the chats for questions for the candidate.  Please prepare to ask your questions on the written chat rather than speak them to avoid having more than one person at a time trying to speak. Teresa or I will read each question, in the order it is asked, to the candidate.

Melba Gandy will send an email to you tomorrow.  That email will contain a link to the meeting.  One click on the link will put you there.
Please join us and learn more about your candidate.   (Also check our website’s calendar.)

Additionally, please mark your calendar for Thursday, August 20.  Candidates for the U.S. Senate will Zoom with us at 6:00 p.m. on that date. 

REMINDER:  We need more poll watchers.  There is information about how to sign up on the Gilmer County Democrats Facebook group.

Important Election Information

Good morning, Gilmer Democrat!  You will find below information and important news related to the election cycle.

1.       If you do not yet have an absentee ballot for either the August 11 run-off or the November 3 election, it is not too late to get it.  Simply call the voting registrar’s office at 706-635-4617 and request it.  If you want to vote absentee in the future, be sure to check the appropriate box on your ballot and indicate that you want a Democratic ballot.

 2.      A new law (Georgia Code, Section 21-2-382) provides that voters can drop off their absentee ballots at early voting locations.

 3.      I strongly urge you to sign up as a poll watcher.  We need at least 26 poll watchers in Gilmer to work 6-hour shifts.

State law now requires DPG to make poll-watching appointments, so the process has been centralized for the August 11 Democratic runoff and the November 3 election.

 Poll watchers need to register through this link to fill out the sign-up form.  After you volunteer and register through the link, you will receive instructions for accessing the most up-to-date, virtual training materials for this cycle – including a training video to watch before your shift.   You will also receive your credentials from the DPG.

Please notify after you register so we can get information about the precinct to which you are assigned and coordinate with our local Supervisor of Elections office.  THANKS!


Gilmer County Democratic Committee Elections

It’s time for the election of new members to the GCDC, and we have an extraordinary slate of candidates.

The election will be held on Thursday of THIS WEEK, July 16, at 6:00 p.m., via Zoom. You will receive your ballot and an invitation with a link to the meeting on Thursday morning via e-mail.

Since we have not been able to meet as a group, face-to-face, the candidates are introducing themselves to you via the attachment to this e-mail. So, if you have questions for any of them, be prepared to ask them at our Zoom meeting. Four candidates are running for re-election and the remaining five will be new to the Committee.

Because there is a seat open for every candidate, the Democratic Party of Georgia has given us permission to vote the entire slate at once. We will, however, provide for voting by district as well.

Because of your commitment to Democratic principles, and that of all our Gilmer Democrats, we are TURNING GEORGIA BLUE. THANK YOU!!!

Introductions to the Candidates for the Gilmer County Democratic Committee

David M. Ashley

David Ashley recently retired from a 40-plus-year career in water resources and environmental planning and permitting.

David came to Atlanta from his home state of Indiana in 1973 and promptly fell in love with the North Georgia mountains.  He worked 13 years for the Georgia DNR/EPD, where he managed the water resources planning and permitting program.  In 1990 he moved to a local engineering firm, where he started the environmental practice and led it to become the largest such group in the Southeast.  He personally led many complex and sometimes controversial projects, including the first Water and Wastewater environmental impact studies for other projects.  He learned firsthand the importance of listening to stake holders and building consensus to advance projects to completion.

David and his wife Deborah live in the Coosawattee neighborhood with four grandchildren in Blue Ridge, Georgia, and Portland, Oregon.  Always an outdoorsman, environmentalist, and Democrat(!), David continues to be an avid whitewater kayaker, mountain biker, and supporter of protecting public lands.  He is very dedicated not only to the defeat of Donald Trump but also to winning a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate so that many of the progressive reforms our country so desperately needs can be accomplished.

Melba A. Gandy

Following the 2016 election, I was motivated to go to work for the Democratic Party and was instrumental in the formation of the Gilmer County Democratic Committee.  I became the Chair at its first meeting and have served in that position ever since.  My term as Chair will expire and a new Chair will be elected at the first meeting following the installation of new Committee members elected on July 16.  I plan to remain active, however, and am running for another term on the Committee.

My interest in politics began when I was a teenager and worked in the Florida legislature for both a House member and a Senator.  I went on to work for the Secretary of State and then the Governor, Farris Bryant.  Later, Governor Bryant was appointed by President Johnson to a position in the White House in Washington and he asked me to join him there.  It was a heady experience for 20-something that solidified my Democratic Party commitment.

I had a long and satisfying career in business following my term in the White House.  I founded and served as CEO of a consulting firm in Washington that specialized in emergency management policy, contracting with various Federal agencies such as FEMA.  I retired happily to Ellijay in 1999 and plan to continue working for Democrats as long as I am able.

Thank you.

Jo B. Hensley

My favorite politically relevant quote is, “My country, right or wrong: if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”  Today, I feel a moral imperative to do whatever I can to change the direction we have travelled during the past few years.

I lived in Indiana for most of my adult life.  As a moderate, I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats.  Maybe it was the idealism of youth but it seemed that both parties were willing to work together, negotiating compromise for the common good.  Today, this country is more polarized than at any other time in my life.  The Republican Party seems dedicated to concentrating power and money in the hands of the few.  The direction that the radical wing of the Republican Party is heading is frightening.

When I moved to Georgia two years ago, I started attending the meetings of the local Democrats.  As events have unfolded over the past few years, I have reached the point where I feel I have to become more involved.

As I mentioned before I am a moderate; definitively a Democrat but still a moderate.  I feel I bring a bit of a different perspective to the Gilmer County Democrats.  I want to work to draw independents and those that mistakenly believe themselves to be moderate Republicans into the fold.  I want to work to get out the vote.  I want to support Democratic candidates in northern Georgia.

Joann Locascio

I have been involved with democratic activities my whole adult life.  I started a local party committee in Harris County and spent a lot of time working with my friends in the Muscogee Dems.  I proudly served as the Vice Chair of the 3rd Congressional District.

My political activism grew stronger as my children got older: that is, until I became very ill and had to curtail my activities in 2009.  I was still active but worked from home.

When we moved to Gilmer County, I could not believe my luck.  Gilmer Dems are a great group of people working hard to uphold the values and principles of the Democratic Party — principles I hold near and dear to my heart.  I was welcomed with open arms and hearts.  I felt like I came home!

I want to continue working with this great team of political activists who share my goals and values.  I want to continue working to GOTV and help more Democrats get elected.

I have access to and can parse the voter files for the Gilmer Dems and the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Thank you.

Noah May

Noah May is a Gilmer County native running for the County Committee.   He holds a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.

Mr. May wants to be a part of the Committee because it is a way for him to both serve the community and to get more involved with the Democratic Party.  In the past three years, Mr. May has seen the Trump Administration sow division and work only for the rich and the Trump family.

The troubling direction the Trump Administration and the Republican Senate is leading this country drives Mr. May to become more involved in the political process.  In short, he wants to become more involved to help ensure a more united nation and a better life for all Americans – not just the wealthy or the Trump family.

Chris Miller

I have lived in Ellijay since 2004.  I have always been fairly political. I worked on local campaigns in my birthplace of Tampa, Florida, and on several national campaigns. One of my neighbors, Betty Reynolds was Jimmy’s cousin. But not the only one, since three other neighbors all in my block were also Jimmy Carter’s relatives: the Reagans, the Carters, and the Emkens. So, I guess I had no choice but to become politically involved at an early age.

I had a fascinating career in the television industry in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida; Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia; and the Cayman Islands. I have many stories for another time.

I have been the District E, Precinct 12 representative on the Committee since Melba originally founded our Gilmer County Democrats. I would like to continue in this position for many reasons. One, I live less than a half mile from the precinct. Two, because I have known DJT personally since 1976 and, as Melba so aptly puts it, “I’m not going anywhere until he is out of office.” Frankly, the Donald that I know never tells the truth and could not win anything unless he lied, cheated, bribed someone, or stole it. Needless to say, I am a committed non-fan and have been since the first day that I met him.

So it would be my honor and privilege to continue in this position. I come from a long line of patriots, including Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of our nation’s Declaration of Independence.

Eunice Rosner

I’m a Democrat, a college science major, and former employee of the Centers for Disease Control.  I am dedicated to supporting those that can return our nation to the rule of law and restore the checks and balances that keep us safe.

I became aware of political issues during Nixon’s impeachment trial.  The break-in and cover-up he directed revealed a serious flaw in our system of government.  I wanted to see more integrity in our elected officials.

After spending time overseas, I realized that our system of checks and balances was brilliant and comforting.  Rather than dictators who destroyed people’s lives so they could live lavishly, or governments that owned public services (e.g., transportation, media, and postal services), the power in our country was assigned by our Constitution to the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches.  Theoretically, they would keep power distributed and in check.  Unfortunately, our current administration ignores the checks and balances our Constitution established.  Our elected president flagrantly abuses his power.

The administration’s ability to convince large groups of people that issues such as global warming or the current pandemic are hoaxes is disturbing to me, potentially deadly to our citizens, and is eroding respect for scientific achievements.

I am running again for the Committee to do whatever I can to help elect leaders who will respect and reinforce our Democratic principles and institutions.

Leslie Wade

 I am a lifelong Democrat, a resident of Ellijay, and a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice.

In the 1980s I served as a director and then-chapter president of the National Women’s Political Caucus, an organization dedicated to recruiting and supporting pro-choice women for elected and appointed offices.  I’ve also been a campaign consultant for both candidates and initiative ballot measures.

My professional background is in communications.  I recently retired as Communications Manager for the Project Chimps wildlife sanctuary and now have more time to volunteer and assist the Party.

I would be honored to serve.

Terry Woehr

I have been a lifelong Democrat and have worked on several campaigns, including phone banks for President Obama as well as President Clinton (along with stuffing envelopes).

I am 65 years old and have been to Washington, D.C. too many times in my life to stand with women demanding that we get and/or maintain the right to control our bodies safely.  I have written many Letters to the Editor of my local newspapers over the years encouraging voters to vote with good conscience.

I have been on the GCDC for about four years and have been the Treasurer for two.  I cannot stand by and idly watch our country devolve as we are doing today with Trump in the White House.  I also do what I can to support our state and local Democratic tickets.

I look to find ways to encourage Gilmer County Democrats to learn they are not alone here.  Silence = complicity.

Thank you.

Anchored in Milwaukee, 2020 Democratic National Convention will be a “Convention Across America”

Convention will engage and unite more Americans than ever before
Delegates will conduct official party business without risking public health

MILWAUKEE, WI—The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today their convention plan to broadcast from Milwaukee and across the nation, in a convention geared to reach out to all Americans. The DNCC reiterated the Democratic Party’s commitment to holding a convention that would protect public health while transforming the convention experience for delegates and viewers. Convention planners said that host city Milwaukee would anchor the events for the week, and that programming would include both live broadcasts and curated content from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country.

“Vice President Biden intends to proudly accept his party’s nomination in Milwaukee and take the next step forward towards making Donald Trump a one-term president,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, Campaign Manager, Biden for President. “The city of Milwaukee has been an incredible partner and we are committed to highlighting Wisconsin as a key battleground state at our convention this August. This will be a convention for all Americans who wish to join our mission to win the battle for the soul of this nation and build a fairer, more united country for us all.”

Convention planners are also developing new ways to organize and engage online with more voters than ever before during this critical election year. Later this week, convention organizers will launch the first of a series of engagement campaigns that will allow Americans across the country to share their ideas and add their voice to convention programming.

Anchored every night in Milwaukee, the Democratic National Convention will include four nights of programming from August 17-20, 2020. The overall production of the convention’s program—including the satellite broadcasts—will be led by nine-time Emmy-award winning producer Ricky Kirshner. Kirshner has served as the Executive Producer of the Tony Awards since 2004, the Super Bowl Halftime Show—the most-watched television event of the year—since 2007, and has worked on every Democratic National Convention since 1992.

At the convention, Democrats will officially nominate Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president. Through multiple formats and mediums, it will also celebrate the promise of America by featuring the people and their stories that represent the strength and collective humanity of our nation and demonstrate that Vice President Biden is the leader the country needs right now—with the experience, steady hand, and compassion to lead us out of the crisis of the last four years, and strengthen our nation for all Americans.

“Leadership means being able to adapt to any situation,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “That’s exactly what we’ve done with our convention. Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team has organized and mobilized to get out the vote and ensure a successful convention anchored in Wisconsin, and I’m grateful for the extraordinary leadership of our partners in the city of Milwaukee. Donald Trump’s days in the Oval Office are numbered.”

Additional updates unveiled by the Democratic National Convention Committee today include:

  • Conducting official business without risking public health—After consulting with public health officials about the COVID-19 pandemic, convention organizers are announcing today that they have determined state delegations should not plan to travel to Milwaukee and should plan to conduct their official convention business remotely. A process is being developed to ensure all delegates can cast their votes on all convention matters, including the presidential nomination, remotely during the convention. DNC standing committee meetings will take place virtually as well, with the first standing committee meetings set for the last week of July.
  • Announcing our Convention Chair—U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson will serve as Permanent Chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The Convention Chair presides over all official convention business.
  • Developing robust health protocols—In addition to continued collaboration with local, state, and federal public health officials, the DNCC is bringing on nationally-renowned epidemiologists and infectious disease experts Dr. W. Ian Lipkin and Dr. Larry Brilliant, who will help advise on efforts to protect the health and safety of convention staff, attendees, and the people of Wisconsin. Dr. Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, is an expert in diagnostic testing and collaborated with the WHO on coronavirus outbreak control for SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Dr. Brilliant, a former professor of epidemiology, is best known for his work on the successful eradication of smallpox.
  • Updating the convention campus—With fewer people gathering in person at this year’s event, convention planners are modifying the convention campus. All convention proceedings will move from Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center, the convention center located in downtown Milwaukee. Specifics regarding delegation representation on the convention floor will be provided after public health officials complete their assessment of the trajectory and impact of the coronavirus pandemic and determine how many people can safely gather in person later this summer.
  • Eliminating official auxiliary events—Previous conventions have included several large-scale events attended by thousands of people, such as a welcome reception for media and delegates as well as an event for volunteers. In keeping with the commitment to deliver a convention that poses no unnecessary risk to public health, convention organizers will no longer proceed with hosting these in-person parties.

“Everything is on the line this November, which is why we must find creative and forward-looking ways to organize, mobilize, and unite our party around our shared values at the convention so that we can launch Joe Biden to victory this fall,” said Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention.

As convention planners continue to monitor the coronavirus health crisis and its impact across the nation, they will continue to examine all options for the success of the convention that ensure the safety of any participants and the host city. More details will be made publicly available as the convention’s plans are further finalized.

About the Democratic National Convention The 2020 Democratic National Convention will be anchored in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from August 17-20. The Democratic National Convention is the formal event during which delegates of the Democratic Party choose the party’s nominees for president and vice president in the 2020 election. At the convention, the Democratic Party also adopts the official Democratic Party platform as well as the rules and procedures governing party activities, including the nomination process for presidential candidates in the next election cycle.

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