Candidates attend Tea Party rally

Published 7:46 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Special to The Post-Searchlight

The Kirbo Regional Center was host to the Bainbridge Tea Party’s Take Back America Freedom Rally this past Saturday.

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The event had approximately 150 in attendance including several members of local and state government, both Republican and Democrat.

The rally began with prayer by Keith Sellars followed by the National Anthem. Each of the attending members of government was then recognized by Bainbridge Tea Party Organizer Sheila Lane. Those from or running for state or local positions were Rick Allen, Lee Ferrell, Mike Keown, Marjean Boyd, Gene Maddox, David Chastain, Kevin Cherry, Oliver Sellars, Darwin Carter, David Holt, Frank Loeffler, Ted Snell, David Cottles, Gary Phillips, Sidney Cochran, John McRae, and representatives for Preston Smith and Ralph Hudgens.

The first speaker of the event was Heather Abbott, who is running for state Representative for District 173. Her speech emphasized the importance of the Constitution to America today. She talked about America’s birth as a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian laws. She stated that the writers of the Constitution kept God in mind even in reference to dating the document “in the year of our Lord.”

Abbott is a native of South Georgia and graduate of Bainbridge High School. She now lives and works in Thomasville.

Following Abbott, Bainbridge College student Caymon Fowler gave a short talk on parallels between the fall of the Roman Empire and the current situation of the United States. These parallels were unemployment, political problems and a troubled economy.

The keynote speaker of the evening’s event was 24-year-old Jerome Hudson, originally from Savannah. He is a student in Tallahassee majoring in broadcast communication. Hudson penned the op-ed “The Life of a Young Black Conservative” in which he talks about his upbringing in a Christian family and his choice to be a conservative. This choice, he says, caused him to be ostracized from the young black community. Hudson claims no party affiliation but says he considers himself a part of the Tea Party movement. Hudson has also been featured on the Glenn Beck program on Fox News for his views on being a black conservative, which he calls the “ultimate minority.”

Hudson’s speech was “Freedom Isn’t Free: Why We Must Fight for Limited Government, Liberty and Freedom.” He praised our military for their work in defending the constitution and criticized the president for apologizing for America’s actions.

When asked what he thought about the lack of minorities being involved with the Tea Party, Hudson stated, “The fact is that the left, Hollywood and the national media have unfairly defined the Tea Party as a bunch of old, white racists, which makes it nearly impossible for minorities to see the forest for the trees.

“Nonetheless, I have more faith in the American people, and I think it is a little disingenuous for Tea Party members to try to ‘reach out’ to minorities. The truth is everlasting, and if people want to be freed, regardless of race, they will find a way,” Hudson said.

He also mentioned that most minorities tend to vote Democratic, thinking the party wants to help get them out of poverty, but that in reality that party is the very thing keeping there down.

After the rally had ended, there was a meet and greet in the lobby where constituents could question candidates and receive political paraphernalia.

The mission of the Bainbridge Tea Party is “to take back our country by restoring power to the people.” They believe in defending the constitution, personal and religious freedoms.