History made

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell and Kerry Whipple Bean
Barack Obama did not carry Escambia County or Alabama Tuesday, but as a massive voter turnout carried him to victory as the first African-American president in the country, local Democrats were cheering his historic run.
Tanyeka Cooler, part of a gathering of local members of the Alabama Democratic Caucus Friday, said she believes Barack Obama exemplifies the idea of America as a melting pot.
As he watched Obama rack up electoral votes, local ADC president Joe Watson said he believed Obama would be good for the country.
Although the history-making election was touted as being about change, the excitement also had some focus on racial issues, Watson said.
Watson said the race has come down to hope and Obama has brought that back to America.
At the Ecambia County Courthouse, local Republican party leader Jackie Gay said she was pleased with the efforts made by the Republican party.
Watson said the election process was given a new spin by Obama's run for the presidency and was a driving force for getting so many voters to the polls.
In previous elections, Watson said 155,000 black Alabamians who were registered voters didn't make it to the polls to vote.
Predictions indicated early that the polls could expect 80 to 85 percent of registered voters to show up at Alabama's polls.