DECISION 2012: Tea Party Holds Rally; Democrats Hold Convention

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Campaign season is heating up in West Virginia as the Tea Party Express rolled into town for a rally by the river and the Democrat Convention kicked off at the Charleston Civic Center.

Freely speaking about what they want the future of America to look like, members of the Tea Party cheered and chanted together Friday morning.

"It is a bunch of people who have not been politically active in the past who have finally said enough already," Tea Party Express Co-founder Howard Kaloogian said. "We are tired of the excessive spending and the over taxation and the over regulation and the government intrusiveness into our business and our affairs."

The Tea Party announced its endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Republican John Raese. Raese is running against Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin in November.

Leaders of the Tea Party say their ideas, when it comes to cutting government debt, are catching on in a big way.

"Somebody has to stand up for what's right," Tea Party member Doris Sampson said. "I do support especially the financial part."

However, across town at the Charleston Civic Center, hundreds of Democrats are joining together for the state convention.

The goal is to come up with a party platform for the November election and elect delegates for the Democratic National Convention.

State party leaders say they are seeing a lot of excitement going into election season.

"I see young, middle aged and senior citizens -- they are here and they seem pretty excited," State Democratic Chairman Larry Puccio said. "Democrats are hard workers -- we believe in touching the people and going to the people, and I think the folks are going to leave here excited and really put the boots on the ground and work with the citizens of West Virginia."

The convention continues through this weekend.


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