Door County Political Parties Mobilize

With the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions now in the rearview mirror, the official ramp-up to November elections has begun, and the chairs of both parties’ county headquarters are getting ready to mobilize voters and volunteers.

Democratic Party of Door County

Allin Walker, Chair of the Democratic Party of Door County, says his party has two offices in the county, a main one in Sturgeon Bay and a satellite call-center in Baileys Harbor. The Sturgeon Bay office will soon be open seven days a week, and the Baileys Harbor one will be open three days a week.

Walker also says his volunteers are making phone calls to find out what’s on the minds of undecided voters.

“We’re asking what issues are important to them and then doing the hard work of listening to them and providing them with what we feel is accurate, balanced information,” he says.

Walker says that despite his party’s defeat in the June recall election, the base is still excited for November.

He’s reaching out to the 363 volunteers who circulated petitions during the mid-year elections, and more than 30 people showed up to a meeting in Sister Bay where he expected a crowd of about 10.

“Everybody’s reason was different. For some it was education, some were concerned about Supreme Court nominations, some the economy,” says Walker. “If you put together a list of 20 different issues that are being talked about in the media right now, we probably had 15 of them represented.”

Walker says any and all volunteers his party can recruit are especially important this year because of all the money being gathered by the Republican Party and its various supporting Political Action Committees (PACs).

“What we don’t have is the financial resources that are mustered against us,” says Walker. “We’ll probably be outspent three or four to one. The only thing we can do to counter all that money is to recruit volunteers.”

Democratic Party of Door County Headquarters

62 S. 3rd Ave.

Sturgeon Bay

Republican Party of Door County

William Berglund, Chair for the Republican Party of Door County, says his party’s county headquarters in Sturgeon Bay will be open three days a week until the elections.

His volunteers are also working on a door-knocking campaign and heading down to Green Bay to enlist at a call center there.

“We don’t send them; they volunteer to go there on their own,” says Berglund. “All of a sudden I’ll find out people are down there making phone calls.”

In addition to the information provided at the Door County Republicans’ physical headquarters, Berglund strives to link to a series of new articles on the organization’s website each day.

“I’m just dispensing information and trying to make people think,” he says. “If they’re not going our way, they’ll read it and maybe lean towards our way of thinking.”

With only four elections for Door County voters to focus on (see sidebar), Berglund says he’s not overly concerned with having to prioritize one race over another. He also says the party’s momentum from the recall election is carrying over into November.

“Generally speaking, if we get a few hundred signs out for an election it’s really good. During the recall we had 800 or 900 signs out,” says Berglund. “I think the recall, for the Democratic side, is the biggest mistake they could’ve made because now we’re fired up.”

Romney/Ryan signs haven’t yet arrived in the Sturgeon Bay office, so Berglund says there’s currently a waiting list on those. Besides signs, people are also stopping in to pick up brochures and candidate information.

“We never have a crowd,” says Berglund, “but there’s always someone walking in and wanting something.”

Republican Party of Door County Headquarters

49 N. Madison Ave.

Sturgeon Bay

Races to Watch For

These are the races Door County residents should be keeping an eye on as November approaches.

• State Representative, 1st Assembly District

Garey Bies (Republican)*

Patrick Veeser (Democratic)

• U.S. Representative, 8th Congressional District

Reid Ribble (Republican)*

Jamie Wall (Democratic)

• U.S. Senator

Nimrod Y. U. Allen, III (I.D.E.A.)

Tammy Baldwin (Democratic)

Joseph Kexel (Libertarian)

Tommy Thompson (Republican)

• President of the United States

Virgil Goode (Constitution)

Gary Johnson (Libertarian)

Gloria La Riva (Party for Socialism and Liberation)

Barack Obama (Democratic)*

Mitt Romney (Republican)

Jill Stein (Green)

Jerry White (Socialist Equality Party)

* Incumbent

Source:  Wisconsin Government Accountability Board