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With the election only six days away, the Barack Obama campaign is making a major push in the battleground state of Missouri.
Last week, Obama campaign staff moved into satellite offices on South Street in Richmond to canvass the area and get the word out.
Office Director Sharon Delugach said every county in Missouri is a target for the Democrats this year.
“It’s not only a 50-state campaign,” Delugach said. “We’re not giving up on any county in Missouri. We believe there are good votes to get in Ray County.”
Obama’s campaign has enlisted the services of thousands of volunteers across the country and in the Show Me State. The Obama campaign will be making its third stop in Missouri, in the last two weeks, tomorrow when the busses roll into Columbia.
Cindy Garvin from Rayville works at a department store in Liberty and volunteers for the campaign locally when she isn’t taking care of her two sons. Garvin, who recently got health care, said it is one of the main issues that got her involved in the Obama campaign.
“This is the first time in my adult life that I haven’t had health care,” Garvin said. “I have some right now, but I was without for almost two years.”
Garvin said her two sons, ages 16 and 12, are also interested in the campaign and sometimes get in discussions with other kids on the bus.
Richmond resident Laura Alber said in addition to health care, jobs and the housing market are also at the top of the list of concerns locally. Like Garvin, and most other volunteers, she is working on her first presidential campaign. She said the message Obama spreads really resonated with her.
“I would have never thought that I would work on a presidential campaign but hearing him and his passion that he has ignited in me, I had to do it,” she said.
Alber said she is saddened by some of the racist remarks she has seen lately from some residents in the news.
“Racism has never been a factor in my life and to see it now in this town is very upsetting,” Alber said. “If people are thinking that way, they are not looking beyond that to hear his message.”
Delugach said she has been all over rural Missouri and has had some obnoxious things said but has not experienced any real aggression. She said people are real responsive once they have someone talking to them instead of hearing a message from a recording.
“It’s easy to break down the myths when we meet people face to face,” she said. “Most of the calls they get are robo calls or mailers. We ask them, ‘So did they answer all of your questions?’
“We are able to turn people around when we talk to them,” she added, “We’re trying to get them to think and to tell the truth.”
Patty Hasselvring is a volunteer from Concordia working in the area. She said some of the responses she has received have been heartfelt.
“I think people are so ready for change that it is infectious,” Hasselvring said. “Everywhere I go I wear my Obama T-shirt and people say ‘I’m your friend and we want to see change too,’ and that’s encouraging.”
Delugach urged supporters to not give up and think the election is over. Her message to supporters is that there may be long lines and frustration, but their vote is important.
Photo: The Barack Obama campaign moved into offices on East South Street in Richmond last week and began canvassing the area this past Saturday. (Photo by Dennis Sharkey/The Daily News)