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Bowling Green State U. Area Democrats Cheer On Obama's Presidential Win

This story was written by Kristen Vasas, The BG News


On the night of one of the most historic elections in America's history, the Wood County Democrats and an assortment of Bowling Green citizens gathered to cheer on their hope for change in the future: President-elect Barack Obama.

With roughly 100 participants gathered in the Bowling Green Country Club, Democratic supporters ranging in age from six to 91 met to watch the results of the election pour in from across the United States.

"We've had eight years of pretty miserable rule, and we've been through periods where we've had pretty tough times," Wood County Democratic Party Chair Mike Zickar said. "Our change is finally here and I think we're ready for it."

With the Illinois senator sweeping not only Wood County, but the state of Ohio, democratic supporters unanimously agreed that no other candidate would be able to handle the critical issues facing America, including the failing economy, the Iraq War and the national deficit.

"Obama was the only choice because he won't allow jobs to go to other countries, which is hurting the middle class, and the middle class supports everybody,"Bowling Green State University junior Andrew Fortlage said. "I'll be OK no matter what, but Obama looks out for the little guy, and that makes all the difference."

Even those not old enough to vote made sure their voices were heard when it came to electing Obama as the next president of the United States.

For 15-year-old Nathan Hubbell-Staeble, taking advantage of the canvassing opportunities in Bowling Green took precedence over everything else in his life since the presidential race began. Hubbell-Staeble has knocked on over 100 doors since the primaries in March.

"Twice in front of my house on Main Street, me and my brother got people to register when they were walking to and from the bars," Hubbell-Staeble said. "It was my way of making sure my voice was heard in this election."

Hubbell-Staeble said his parents, and specifically his mother Dawn, who was adopted in Europe, inspired him to become politically active as a teenager because they were both young political activists as well.

"When I was three, I became a citizen of the U.S. and a judge told me it was a right, not a responsibility, to vote," Dawn said. "I've never missed an election since I was 18, and I've passed that same political enthusiasm onto my children."

And with the backdrop of Obama's presidential victory fueling hopes and predications for the future, the loss of Wood County to an almost purely Republican sweep on the Wood County ticket seemed to pass as almost an afterthought to the supporters gathered at the Country Club.

However, for the 25th year in a row, County Commissioner Alvin Perkins won his highly coveted seat in Bowling Green, promising to always remember to focus on the people he serves.

According to Perkins, the reason behind his success as commissioner stems from his uncontroversial relationships with the two other commissioners serving Wood County - both of whom happen to be staunch Republicans.

"They deserve to be who they are and what they are," Perkins said of Commissioners Tim Brown and Jim Carter. "When we get together with other individuals to make decisions, we want to make a good team who works together to make it work, and that's what we represent."

And though Perkins said his job requires him to look at issues affecting Wood County ranging from Mother Nature to the economy, his primary focus is one he said Obama has focused on throughout his campaign as well.

"After all these years of being in politics, I've learned the most important part is focusing on the people who elected you," Perkis said. "Like Obama, I try not to forget the people who are in need of my help."

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