Middle Georgia delegates rally support at Democratic convention

Two Middle Georgia delegates are experiencing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., from different perspectives -- one has never held a political office and the other was a state representative for nearly 30 years.

But Paul Bronson of Macon and DuBose Porter of Dublin agree they both want to represent Middle Georgia while they are there and rally support for President Barack Obama’s re-election.

Bronson, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Macon in 2011, arrived in Charlotte on Sunday and has been busy attending meetings and volunteering. Bronson is a career coach for the Bibb County school system and serves in the U.S. Army Reserves.

“I had the opportunity to go work on a house with Ty Pennington with ‘Extreme House Makeover’ (TV show) ... which was kind of neat,” Bronson said Monday.

Half of the house was built in Tampa last week by delegates at the Republican National Convention. It was transported to Charlotte, where Democrats will finish it, according to the Associated Press. The house will remain in Charlotte and will be donated to a U.S. military veteran.

Bronson has already been able to meet the Rev. Jesse Jackson and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and is excited to meet other dignitaries.

“I am looking forward to meeting the first lady,” he said. “I’m not sure I’ll get to meet her.”

First lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to speak Tuesday night.

Porter, who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1982 until 2010 when he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia, said he has been reconnecting with many people from Georgia and elsewhere he has gotten to know over the years.

“I saw people excited about this election and getting the truth back out there where this economy really was four years ago, compared to where it is now,” he said.

Porter said he’s interested in meetings about energy and sustainability, which should be growing in Georgia.

Bronson and Porter said the turnout has been great so far, although some reports say there is concern that less people may attend this convention than the one four years ago.

Porter attended the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver as a member of the caucus.

“So far, it’s very similar,” he said. “The enthusiasm here is very high. Of course, last time everyone felt like they were a part of making history. We want to make sure this year, we continue that. ... It seems there are a lot more small-business folks this year from around Georgia who have gotten engaged.”

Bronson said he’s encouraged by the number of young people at the convention.

“The young people here are fired up, and I think that’s one of the most important factors of this campaign,” he said. “I think we have the young turnout locked in ... I think this will be a race determined by the young vote.”

Porter said it was important to get young people involved.

“You want to encourage the new blood in the legislature and some of our new city officials as we rebuild the party in Georgia,” he said.

One thing both the Republican and Democratic conventions have in common is weather issues. While Hurricane Isaac threatened the Republican convention in Florida, the remnants of Isaac are forecast to bring possible thunderstorms to Charlotte on Thursday when Obama is due to address the convention at an outdoor stadium.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.