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WEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Democratic Party held its monthly meeting in the upper picnic shelter at West Jefferson Park at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25.

Treasurer LaVonda Clouse presented the party’s current balance of $6,628.69.

Chairman Ralph Sorrell led a discussion to plan the party’s first Adopt-A-Highway cleanup since the party recently adopted a section of Buck Mountain Road. Keep Ashe Beautiful is holding a cleanup on Oct. 4 and the party discussed the possibility of holding their cleanup on the same date.

At this time, there was also a unanimous vote to make a donation of $100 to Keep Ashe Beautiful.

Sorrell also gave an update on the signs and bumper stickers the party ordered from Orange County. He shared that they ordered 40 Joe Biden signs and 40 bumper stickers. As well as 30 Roy Cooper signs and 20 bumper stickers and 30 Cal Cunningham signs and 20 bumper stickers. Sorrell also ordered 20 Cheri Beasley signs and 10 “Vote” face masks.

According to Sorrell, the total cost was approximately $500 and the order has not been received yet as of that evening.

There was a discussion about the party’s headquarters being open more frequently and those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Jackie Schwinn.

David Wilson Brown, who is running for election to the U.S. House to represent North Carolina’s fifth Congressional District was present to provide an update.

“This election is really an opportunity for us,” Brown said. “So do what you can. Break whatever barrier you can to talk to the people that you think might be convincible.”

Brown said the Congresswoman Virginia Foxx attended the hearing with U.S. Postmaster Louis DeJoy, who has contributed to her campaign and helps reinforce all of the things that allow him to destroy the postal system.

Brown emphasized that the party needs to do whatever they can to save the service since it is precious, especially in rural areas such as Ashe County.

“This district has gotten redrawn, you have an opportunity where Virginia Foxx is weakened,” Brown said. “This is your one opportunity, until the redrawing in 2022, to knock her out.”

“Precincts are unorganized and we are going to turn out the Democratic vote like never before, hopefully,” Brown added.

The recently established social media committee provided an update about their progress in the previous month.

The Ashe County Democratic Party has a Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram account. As of Aug. 25, on Facebook the party had 701 likes, on Instagram they have 259 followers and 11 friends on Snapchat.

Some of the recent actions made by the media committee include making regular posts on all social media accounts, promoting access to the absentee ballot and promoting voter registration. The next project for the committee is a palm card to promote both local and national candidates.

The committee meets on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. virtually via Google Meets.

Party member Ben Massey made the suggestion that the party donate funds to assist candidates and their campaigns. Massey suggested donations of $500 to Biden, $400 to Cunningham, $300 to Brown, $200 to Jeanne Supin who is running for N.C. Senate to represent District 45 against Republican incumbent Deanna Ballard, $200 to Rep. Ray Russell and $200 each to Russell Killen, James Cain and Beth Sorrell who are running for the Ashe County Board of Commissioners.

The party voted unanimously in favor of the total of $2,200 to be donated to the candidates.

Those interested can also make donations at any time to the Ashe County Democratic Party by visiting the website at ashecodems.com.

Russell emphasized that the town of Blowing Rock did not receive any mail at all on Aug. 25. An email Russell received from a campaign member in Blowing Rock verified that the truck from Greensboro did not arrive that day.

“We can expect a lot of disruptions with the post office,” Russell said. “It is as bad as anybody imagines it to be.”

He also provided an update on his campaign, which includes the first round of campaign literature.

“I am really optimistic that we can take both the House and the Senate in North Carolina,” Russell said. “I think that is a real possibility, it is not a done-deal, not advertising it as such.”

Russell added that he feels the race will be closer in the House than the Senate.

“I want you to feel like you are a majority party and let’s seize this election,” Russell said. “Thank you for everything.”

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