Harris urges Demos to vote GOP

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002

A Shelby County Democratic leader is asking local Democrats to vote in the

Republican primaries. By law in Shelby County Democrats can vote in the GOP primary but Republcians cannot vote in the Democratic primary.

Alabaster Councilman Bobby Harris said he will be organizing a public forum for candidates in the next 10 days.

Harris, a representative for the largely African American Ward 1 section of Alabaster, said Democrats and minorities in Shelby County have the power to sway the upcoming elections. He said the voting block many times goes unnoticed in the heavily-republican county.

&uot;I’m 55 years old and I have been voting Democrat for the last 40 years. That’s what I was taught,&uot; Harris said. &uot;In Shelby County the demographics have changed drastically. When I was a boy the Republicans were not the majority.&uot;

The forum, he said, will allow candidates to speak to and be asked questions from concerned Democrats and minorities in the county.

&uot;I’m inviting Republicans and Democrats to come to Alabaster. You can call it a screening or you can call it a get-to-know-you session. I want people to sit down and talk with the local candidates,&uot; Harris said. He called the last mayoral election in Alabaster a non-partisan event that showed the merits of his efforts.

&uot;Black supporters of mine helped pick the mayor (David Frings) of this city because they were encouraged to vote,&uot; Harris said. &uot;The hands that once picked cotten can pick mayors and school board chairmen.&uot;