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N.C. State Democrats Merge To Support Lower Ballot Candidates

This story was written by Chris Allred, Technician

Democrats on the North Carolina State University campus are working alongside state and national campaigns to coordinate events and build support for their party's candidates, according to Bobby Mills, a senior in political science and economics who is an intern for the Bev Perdue for Governor campaign.

Mills has been an intern for Perdue for about a year-and-a-half and said support for her has grown significantly in that time.

"When we first started, we had a small team -- only 10 of us," he said. "Now we have who knows how many."

Working as an intern is similar, Mills said, to being a "utility player in baseball."

Interns can work on finance details, calling donors and asking for donations, dealing with advertisers or answering questions about specific events, he said.

Drew Wall, president of Students for Barack Obama, said his group merged with College Democrats to create Students for Change, a group that encompasses the entire Democratic ticket in North Carolina.

"We're not just out endorsing Sen. Obama," he said. "We're also campaigning for all the democrats, state and local as well."

Students in the group work phone banks for Obama Monday nights and meet Tuesday nights, and also work with the Obama campaign to coordinate events.

Obama supporters can go on cross-country tours to various college campuses, as Harold and Kumar star Kal Penn did on Harris Field, and some people that come to campus will also go to UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.

Singer Sean Kingston and actress Jurnee Smollett will be in the Brickyard Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in a similar effort to show their support for Obama, according to Wall.

Mills said that while many students are particularly interested in the presidential campaigns, they know the importance of the governor's race.

"It's a historic election throughout the nation, including North Carolina," he said. "[Perdue] will be the first female governor elected in North Carolina."

The enthusiasm about Obama can also spread down to other parts of the Democratic ballot, Mills said.

History and the state's demographics will play to Perdue's favor, Mills said.

"Since reconstruction, we've only elected two Republican governors," he said.

And since Perdue's opponent is Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, Mills said most of McCrory's support is only in the Charlotte area, while Perdue has broader support across the state.

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