Democrats rally with push to increase voter turnout

Photo courtesy Dubois County Democratic Party
Tom Spangler of Jasper, running for the District 8 U.S. congressional seat, spoke to the 130 gathered for Thursday night's Truman Day Dinner at the Dubois County Museum.

Herald Staff Writer

JASPER — The overwhelming theme at the Dubois County Democratic Party’s annual Truman Day Dinner on Thursday night was simple — get people to the polls to vote.

But everyone who gave that rally cry knows such a task will be difficult this year. Election years that don’t include the U.S. presidency on the ballot tend to see low voter turnouts.

About 130 people attended Thursday night’s dinner at the Dubois County Museum. The group heard from Eleanor Roosevelt, impersonated Dubois County Council candidate Becky Beckman of Jasper, as well as County Democratic Party Chairman Gary Eck, Indiana Secretary of State candidate Beth White and Indiana State Auditor candidate Mike Claytor speak about the importance of voting.

Tom Spangler of Jasper, running for the District 8 U.S. congressional seat, reiterated the call.

“I will work very hard to get my message out,” he said. “But at the same time, I need you to register people (to vote) and get the people out to vote. We all have to help.”

Spangler incorporated several of former President Harry Truman’s quotes into what he perceived to be the situation of government today. He started with Truman’s quote: “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

Spangler said the federal government shutdown in October shows there is no leadership acting in the best interests of the people.

“Our society and our country stood still for 17 days,” he said. “Congress is broken. It is my desire, and I hope there are others like me in other states, to go to Washington, D.C. to make a difference and fix Congress.”

Spangler also cited Truman saying the “fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.” Truman said the basis of the Bill of Rights come from teachings of Isaiah and St. Paul as noted in the Bible.

“Jesus speaks much about the poor,” said Spangler, who added that the current system to assist the poor and working poor, many of which have families, is not effective. “The system needs to be fixed.

He noted the minimum wage also needs to be increased, a move being discussed in Washington and a shift Spangler said would help support middle-class working families.

John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, said the people, not the leaders, are the best advocates of the party.

“The best messenger of our message is us,” Zody said. “We know where we are. We know what we can do. When Democrats work together, we win together.”

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