Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 7, 2014

Parties to share stage

Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — Times-Enterprise and local political party officials agree: Thomas County should be recognized as a political force to be reckoned with.

“We tend to be overlooked by Atlanta,” said Marty Haythorn, Thomas County Democratic Party president.

Local political party officials will explain their respective party’s platform and answer citizens’ questions at the 17th Times-Enterprise-sponsored citizens meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium.

Party officials met with newspaper personnel Friday morning to establish a format for the event.

Haythorn, Arthur Jones III and Beth Grant represented the local Democratic party at the meeting. Mike Baugh, Thomas County Republican Party chairman, also attended.

 Mark Lastinger, newspaper managing editor, will moderate the event, at which local party officials will be seated at tables on the stage.

Party officials will explain upcoming races.

One party official will speak at a time, all opinions will be respected, and personal attacks will not be allowed.

Those attending may submit written questions in the auditorium lobby prior to the meeting. Questions also will be taken from the audience.

Lastinger said that in the future, local political parties should stand “side by side” in situations such as the recent closing of Southwestern State Hospital, a Thomasville state mental facility that employed more than 600.

The local Democratic party’s presence in the community has grown in the last couple of years, Lastinger noted.

The emphasis should be on how followers of the two parties share life in the community, not on how different the groups are, he said.

“We need to make our presence known as a community,” Lastinger said.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.