American flags, campaign posters and even homemade hats were on display Tuesday morning at the northwest entry of the Leon County Civic Center for the Howard Dean rally.
Around noon a gray van pulled up and crowds of Dean supporters chanted, “Dean! Dean! Dean!” as the Democratic presidential candidate waved and walked toward the center to speak at a $250-a-plate luncheon.
Supporters from FAMU and Florida State University rallied to support Dean and find out more about the candidate who is leading the democratic bid for the White House
“When I first heard him speak a couple of years ago, it was like everything he said was based on common sense,” said Ken Foster, the chair of North Florida for Dean and FSU creative writing professor. “We thought we should at least organize something for people to meet him.”
On Dean’s way into the building, he seized the camera of a student, who stood behind the rails, and clicked a picture of himself and the student together.
Jonathan Evans, a 21-year-old FAMU senior psychology student from Morgantown, W.Va., said, “I only registered as Democrat so I could vote for Dean in the primary.”
Evans said he was concerned about how Dean would be able to connect with the black community, but after hearing positive remarks about how Dean handled questions during his recent visit at Howard University, he was convinced that Dean was the best candidate.
“I am sick of Bush, but once I heard about Dean – he just makes a lot more sense,” Evans said.
Another student, Nick Anderson, an 18-year-old FSU freshman, said he came to the rally because he wanted to know what Dean was all about. He also said he is not pleased with the country’s current leadership.
“It’s time for a change and we need to get rid of Governor Bush,” said Anderson, who does not acknowledge George W. Bush as president.
Anderson, an Asian studies student from Orlando, said he is also looking at other Democratic candidates and is excited about next year’s election. It will be the first presidential election he will be able to vote in.
Among the supporters, some also rallied to promote student voting.
Amber Smalley, a 19-year-old social work student at Tallahassee Community College, said, “This is something I wanted to do to get college students to vote since only a (small number) vote.”
FYI: To learn more about the candidates go to www.rockthevote.com.
Crystyn C. Wright can be reached at Journey_copyeditor@yahoo.com