Local Dems try to close "enthusiasm gap"
Concerned about being overwhelmed by Republican voter turnout, Hillsborough County Democrats hosted a get out the vote rally at the Centro Asturiano in Ybor City on Thursday evening. The event drew a couple dozen candidates, elected officials and party faithful. Speakers worked to inspire the crowd to get their friends, relatives and even strangers to vote. "I have called everybody I know," state Sen. Arthenia Joyner told the group. "Just ask everybody you see. The mailman. The shoe shine parlor man. The 18-year-old on the corner." Joyner predicted dire consquences if Republicans retain their hold on state government. "It's going to be hell if there's a Republican regime like there is up there now," she said, noting that a teacher tenure bill similar to last year's SB6 has already been filed. "We need to work like we've never worked before." So far, Republicans have cast 46 percent of the 108,991 early and absentee ballots in Hillsborough County. Democrats have cast 40 percent of the votes. Hillsborough actually has more registered Democrats (42 percent) than Republicans (33 percent).