County Democrats elect delegates to 4th Congressional district convention

Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pearl River County Democrats, who over three decades have almost been completely swept out of county office by Republicans, met at the Courthouse on Saturday and continued their efforts at revitalizing the local Democratic Party.

Those attending the convention elected seven delegates and seven alternates, to attend the Fourth Congressional District Democratic Convention at Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m., according to Pearl River County Interim Democratic Party chairperson Agnes W. Dalton.

Dalton earlier said that the Pearl River County Democratic Party had “practically fallen apart,” but recently Democrats have taken steps to revitalize the local party and seek more Democratic candidates to run for public office in Pearl River County.

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The move is working, Dalton said. She said the county convention on Saturday had a “good turnout” and that there is a lot of enthusiasm among county Democrats since the party began pushing to re-energize.

During the last major election in November 2011, only about three Democrats ran for major office in Pearl River County, as opposed to 66 Republican candidates on the ballot. County Republicans began a push as far back as the early 1970s that eventually resulted in the GOP taking over almost all elective offices in the county.

Republicans did it in the state, too, taking over the House, Senate and governor’s office.

Supervisor Anthony Hales, Sr., is practically the only Democrat in the county elected to a high elective office.

The seven delegates chosen to attend the Perkinston 4th Congressional Democratic convention on May 19 were Fernan Lestermau, Sid Evens, Edward Hawkins, Dara Hooper, Brenda Nirenberg and Dalton.

The seven delegates will join Democratic delegates from 13 other counties in the 4th Congressional District, who will elect delegates to the state Democratic Convention on June 2 in Jackson. The state convention will name the delegates to the National Democratic Convention on Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C.

Dalton said anyone wanting to join the county Democratic Party or run as a Democratic candidate for any office in the county, or in the county’s two cities, can do so by calling her at 601-746-6020, or emailing her at

Prospective members are invited to the next county meeting on April 9 at 6 p.m. at the Coast Electric conference room in Picayune.

Dalton said  other Democratic county groups recognize that Pearl River County’s Democratic Party is “coming back,” because the 4th District Congressional Convention officials chose to hold its regular monthly meeting at Ryan’s Steak House in Picayune on Thursday.

Also at last Saturday’s convention, Democrats named 30 members to the County Executive Committee, said Dalton.

“It’s time that those who are concerned about the future of the country got active, and got active in the Democratic Party. We have a place for you if you are willing to get involved in the issues and willing to work for the party,” Dalton said.