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Pensacola For Hillary Office Opens



  A crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters were crammed into a meeting room Thursday evening as Evalyn Narramore welcomed them to the opening of the Pensacola for Hillary Coordinated Campaign Office. Narramore, a longtime Democratic Party activist in Escambia County says they have been working a long time to prepare the office for the general election campaign. "A group of us have been working from the Hillary campaign for the last 16 months. And we've had a lot of interest and a lot of cooperation up to this point. So now that we have official campaign people here and an office open, I just think that we are going to have some of the best Democratic turnout we've ever seen in this county." 

The office is located on the corner of Pace Boulevard and Lloyd Street and was jammed with a few hundred people during the opening ceremonies. Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May, one of the few local Democrats who holds elected office, was happy to see the headquarters open in his old neighborhood. "To come back to Morris Court, one of the oldest housing projects in Escambia County where I grew up and to see politics and an office and the DEC and Hillary's campaign right here in the heart of Pensacola and Morris Court is awesome. I can tell that there's a lot of hope and a lot of people believe that we can really make a difference."

Evalyn Narramore Addresses the crowd at the opening of the Pensacola For Hillary headquarters

"It's just so exciting to see so many Democrats and so much energy here today" said Dianne Krumel, the Florida Democratic Party State Committeewoman for Escambia County and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She says now that the office is open the concentration will be on the ground game. "We're going to be out registering voters, we're going to be organizing into teams and knocking on doors and passing out literature and letting everybody know why it's so important that we turn out the vote."

And while the crowd was upbeat and ready to go to work, the outlook was realistic. Not many people here expect Hillary Clinton to win the vote in the panhandle this year. But they know getting as many votes as possible for Clinton is critical for the Democratic candidate to win the state. EvalynNarramore says that was proven in Barack Obama’s first election. "In 2008 it was the number of Democratic votes that came from Escambia County and the panhandle, even though we didn't win outright any of those counties, it was the number of Democratic votes that were able to put Obama to that 51% so that he took Florida uncontested."

The hope is that people will keep an open mind and make an informed vote. Linda McWilliams, one of the volunteers at the event says it’s up to the voters to seek out all the facts. "They need to read and they need to be informed and they need to fact-check and they need to change the channel and not just watch one television station and get their news from one source."

For now the volunteers at the headquarters are working on registering voters for the general election in November. The primary election is August 30, but while there are U.S. Senate candidates on the democratic primary ballot and one ballot initiative on solar energy credits for business, Escambia County has no countywide Democratic candidates on the primary ballot. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.