Democrats aim to revive South Carroll organization

January 10, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

South Carroll Democrats are working to recruit more voters and candidates in time to make a difference in elections later this year, organizers say.

Party members are trying to revive the South Carroll Democratic Club, a long-standing organization that was inactive in recent years.

"It's a club that has a long history," said L. Gregory Pecoraro of Westminster, chairman of the Carroll Democratic Central Committee. "Over the last few years, it was kind of dormant."

Dennis E. Beard, 47, of Sykesville volunteered to reorganize the club.

"I'm accepting this as a challenge," said Mr. Beard, who is serving his first term as a central committee member. He is the committee's treasurer.

A reorganization meeting for the South Carroll club is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in the M. Peggy Holniker Room at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library. A second meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the library.

Mr. Pecoraro said the South Carroll Democratic Club's activities dropped off in part because its for mer leader, Gail Reilly Cross of Eldersburg, took a job out of state. Members who wanted to stay active joined the Carroll County Democratic Club, which meets monthly in Westminster.

But with elections for a number of county and state offices approaching this year, Democrats wanted to be more visible, Mr. Beard said.

"Our competitors" have more clubs, he said, referring to Carroll Republicans. The GOP has seven active clubs, including the Greater Mount Airy Republican Club formed in November. Democrats have three, including the South Carroll club.

Republican voters outnumbered Democrats in the county by 2,752 as of Dec. 30, a Board of Elections report shows. There were 31,212 Republicans and 28,460 Democrats.

In South Carroll election districts, Republican voters outnumber Democrats by 211, county records show. There were 9,905 Republicans and 9,694 Democrats.

"If the Democratic Party is going to move forward in Carroll County, we need to get more clubs organized," Mr. Beard said.

The party also needs to recruit more candidates, especially candidates from the South Carroll area, he said. "I would love to see South Carroll represented in county politics."

The three Carroll commissioners are from other parts of the county. Donald I. Dell is from Westminster, Julia W. Gouge from Hampstead and Elmer C. Lippy from Manchester. Mr. Dell and Mrs. Gouge are Republicans. Mr. Lippy is a Democrat.

The Democratic Central Committee has agreed to give the South Carroll club money to help members pay for mailings and advertising, Mr. Pecoraro said.

"We're committed to helping them out," he said.

Mr. Pecoraro, an aide to Maryland Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, said he was a junior member of the South Carroll Democratic Club when he was in high school.

More Democrats want to be active in the party because the United States has a Democratic president, he said.

"People are feeling pretty good about the Democratic Party these days, even in Carroll County," Mr. Pecoraro said.

Mr. Beard said he has been involved with the club for about five years. He is a sergeant and fire education specialist in the Howard County Fire Department.

He has lived in Sykesville for 22 years and was president of the Sykesville Volunteer Fire Department for nine years.

He also announces annual band competitions at Liberty and South Carroll high schools.

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