Democrats have new party headquarters on the square

By: 
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Print Editor

The Washington County Democratic Party opened its new headquarters on the Salem square last week. The office is located on the southeast side next to the law office of Tom Scifres and Dustin Howard.

For many years, the party operated out of the Leatherbury Law Office on North Main Street. Darlene Briscoe, elected party chairwoman in March, said the new location couldn’t be better.

“It’s accessible and it’s visible; visibility is a big thing,” she said. “Anyone coming around the square will see the sign. We’re right downtown. Everyone can find us.”

Briscoe said the office is also adequately sized, offering space for regular party meetings as well as for candidates to hold events. She said state and national candidates can use the space as a local base and can conduct phone campaigns from it.

The office is open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional times may be scheduled in the evenings as well. The next central party meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m. The office will have an open house Friday during Friday Night on the Square.

Briscoe said she hopes to see the Democratic Party rebuild. “The Democratic Party needs to do some party building and that starts at the bottom,” she said. “There’s party building to do, but that’s exciting!”

On the local level, the party is concentrating at the grassroots level, with candidates and office-holders getting out into individual precincts. “We’re trying to organize and build up the precincts,” she said. That’s especially relevant, Briscoe noted, in precincts with new party chairmen.

The Democrats have been consciously getting out into the county instead of holding all major events in Salem. The annual spring dinner took place in Hardinsburg and Briscoe is working on organizing social events in other communities as well.

Also on the horizon is, hopefully, a Young Democrats organization. Briscoe said it’s important to get young adults involved in the political process, something that’s taken off in a big way on the national level over the past couple of years.

“There’s a lot of good people in this party,” Briscoe said in reference to Washington County. “The party will be better if we get a lot more people involved.” She would love to hear from anyone interested in learning more or in volunteering. 

Briscoe also welcomes anyone with questions for candidates to stop by the office.

The next big party event is the fall dinner, set for Oct. 20. It will take place at the Salem Senior Center.

In addition to Briscoe, other Democratic Party officers are Vice-President Warren “Truck” Jones and Treasurer Mark Hobson. Briscoe said the secretary position is currently vacant and will be filled at the September meeting.

“My heart has always been with the Democratic Party,” said Briscoe, who noted she comes from a strongly Republican background, but chose her party affiliation as an adult. “I’m proud of the party and its views on helping people.”

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