Obama holds Town Hall event at UNCW
Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 8:19am.READ MORE: Obama holds Town Hall event at UNCW
WILMINGTON -- It's been a big 24 hours for local Democrats. Hillary Clinton visited Wilmington yesterday. Today it was Barack Obama.
Some voters called it a historic day at UNC Wilmington.
After more than 30 years of voting Verell Small came to Trask Coliseum Monday to see the first candidate to ever motivate him to cast a ballot in a primary election.
Small said, "I never thought I'd live to see an African-American get this far in the process."
Fifteen months into the process as Obama pointed out.
For more than an hour Obama drew rousing ovations and even laughs, explaining his motivation for running, dismissing his Democratic opponent for the larger picture and promising to unite his party for change.
"I didn't get in the race to run against Sen. Clinton." Obama said. "I got in the raise to run against high unemployment."
Obama spoke of tax relief for the working class coupled with ending tax breaks for the wealthy, the need to solve decades-old problems like substandard healthcare and rising oil prices, as well as environmental challenges and ending the war in Iraq to focus on the war on terror in Afghanistan.
"Democrats are going to unite and make sure a Democrat wins in November," Obama said. You can take that to the bank."
Excitement over the visit began this weekend
They started showing up bright and early.
Obama volunteer David Grace said, "There was a line all the way to Red Cross for a couple hours there."
Obama campaign volunteers say thousands of supporters came by their headquarters on Third Street Saturday morning for tickets to hear the candidate speak this Monday at UNCW.
High school teacher David Jackson said, "I just feel like he is a candidate I can trust, and I think he's going to be the one that reads the fine print and makes the right choice."
Obama is the favorite in this primary race. It's the first time the North Carolina primary vote has mattered in more than 20 years. Obama supporters of all ages, races and genders said they were excited to participate.
UNCW senior Jordan Pike said, "This one election is the first election for students and for everyone where they feel like they can really make a change."
Wilmington resident Lori Orantes said, "To shake things up -- for change. I'm tired of the status quo and I want things different."
The primaries aren't until May 6. Experts say if Obama wins in North Carolina, he still isn't guaranteed the nomination.
Obama campaign volunteers say they expect to fill Trask Coliseum today. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. There will be a limited number of tickets available at eight this morning at the corner of Government Center Drive and Racine Drive in Wilmington.
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