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By Ronald Hawkins
MARTINSVILLE — Dozens of supporters of the Democratic presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama turned out Saturday morning to hear two actresses and two other candidates urge them to keep working for Democratic candidates.
Martinsville was the second stop Saturday for actresses Sarah Jane Morris and Emily VanCamp of ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” on behalf of the Obama campaign. Franklin, Fishers, Muncie and Marion also were on their itinerary.
“I feel so lucky to be able to be here,” Morris said. “I’m so appreciative of all the work you’re doing and that there are so many people here today.”
Morris said she knew that Morgan County has a history of usually supporting Republican candidates. Indiana is usually a “red” Republican state as opposed to a “blue” Democratic state, but that could be changing, Morris said. One poll has shown Obama winning Indiana. “It’s kind of purple here for the first time in a long time,” Morris said.
VanCamp said, “I know it’s tough out here, and it’s a hard crowd,” but “for the first time our young people have something to inspire them” in the Obama candidacy. Morris said she voted for President Bush eight years ago, the first time she voted after college, and her parents had been Republican. The last eight years, however, have changed her mind, she said.
“You can change people’s minds,” Morris said.
VanCamp, a Canadian originally from near Toronto, told the gathering she wanted to see her neighbors have the same benefits she has.
“Where I come from, we have universal health care,” VanCamp said. “I want my neighbors in America to be able to afford to go to doctors when they’re sick.”
Morris said the Obama economic plan is much smarter than that of Republican nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain. Obama’s plan would mean tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans. Obama’s plan for the environment also is much better, Morris said.
“God has given us this great Earth, and people have been destroying it,” she said.
Asked after the event about the criticism of actors being involved in politics, Morris said, “I’m still a person. I’d be doing something even if I wasn’t a celebrity.”
Morris said she decided to support Obama because of his strong economic plan, his timetable for U.S. troops to leave Iraq and her concerns as a woman about what would happen if McCain were elected.
Most of the “Brothers and Sisters” cast, including Sally Field, supports Obama’s candidacy, VanCamp said. Michael Flack, a volunteer coordinator, Del Chafey, Democratic candidate for Morgan County District 1 commissioner, and Joe Osborn, candidate state Senate candidate, also spoke at the gathering.
“I’m tired of hearing you can’t be a Christian and be a Democrat,” Flack said.
Obama is a Christian, Flack said, and believes strongly in the Christian concept of stewardship.
Republicans, Flack said, are taking the support of Morgan County residents for granted.
Osborn said residents are concerned about the lack of jobs, and if elected, that’s one issue he’ll tackle.
Chafey said he’d work to make roads drivable, keep ditches clean and keep the city from being flooded again.