JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Democratic Party unveiled its new office Saturday, July 11, in Jefferson, setting up shop as election season closes in.

Party members gathered to celebrate the new headquarters, mainly staying outside with masks on as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The party shares the new office-space with the Ashe office of N.C. Rep. Ray Russell, who said campaigning and election season have a different feel to it due to the pandemic.

“There’s just not much to do in an office right now. I don’t think that’ll change by election time,” Russell said. “It’ll be a good point of contact and we’ll keep people here for picking up signs and things like that. Last year, we had campaign committee meetings with 20 people and we can’t do that now.”

According to party Chairman Ralph Sorrell, having the new office will give the party a home base as they get into the meat of election season. Sorrell said the pandemic has changed the way they normally campaign, no longer being able to go door-to-door for support.

Instead, the main form of communication has been over the phone. Sorrell said it does take away from the personal touch, but has allowed the party to talk to more people, especially with so many staying home.

Ashe County Board of Commissioners candidate Beth Sorrell said campaigning in the current climate has been a different experience than what she expected. She added that there has not been much to do so far, since there was no democratic primary, saying that everything has been over-the-phone so far as they prepare to ramp up the campaign.

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