By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — “Working people have built this country. They built this state, and we’re gonna honor those people today,” State Chair of the Democratic Party Wallace Collins said at the Cleveland County Democratic Party Labor Day Celebration on Labor Day evening.
Democratic party members and party candidates gathered to enjoy food and learn about party candidates while socializing.
The annual celebration, hosted this year at the J.D. McCarty Center, featured speakers such as labor commissioner candidate Mike Workman, Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate RJ Harris and state school superintendent candidate Jack Herron.
Cathy Cummings, candidate for lieutenant governor, served as keynote speaker. Cummings encouraged Democratic party members to change the image of the party by getting caught doing good deeds, being proud Democrats and utilizing technology such as Facebook and Twitter to share those moments with others.
“I ran as a Democrat so I could stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves,” Cummings said. “Show that we are part of the solution.”
A live auction, Labors of Love for our Democratic Party, kept the event fast-paced as attendees bid on items including a professional photo session with photographer Julian Palmer, a cooking class with Lux Bhakta and 10 pounds of tomatoes from Osprey Acres, to name a few.
Many event attendees said they come to the celebration every year just to be with other party members and discuss important party issues.
“There are a lot of conservatives who don’t want to pay taxes, and that’s too bad because we’re cutting our future short and not putting money into education,” Norman resident Lois Hilbert said. “I feel very strongly that we should be paying for health care and the education of our children.”
All party members agreed that if they would come together as a coalition, the party could win back key state and local offices.
“People are beginning to buy back into the Democratic brand,” said Collins, a former state representative. “We have made progress, and there is reason to look forward to 2014.”
The Oklahoma Democratic party will begin its Blue Tour, a visit to 14 Oklahoma cities to energize the counties and encourage interaction between the people and the party, today in Enid.