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Democrat Brian Reese visits St. Marys, attends Madri Gras Festival

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On Saturday, March 1, Savannah Democrat Brian Reese attended the 20th Annual Saint Marys Mardi Gras Festival and had met local citizens, elected officials and members of the Camden County Democratic Party.

Every vote counts and Reese has made the effort to visit all areas of his exclusively southeast Georgia district which includes a mix of rural, urban and coastal areas.

Camden County isn't as progressive as Chatham-Savannah in regard to electing Democrats, but Reese says he wants to find common ground on various issues along with promoting a progressive message that resonates with the electorate.

The third largest population center in the First Congressional District after Chatham-Savannah and Glynn County is a virtual tie between Liberty and Camden.

Camden is predominately conservative and Liberty typically supports progressive candidates and incumbents.

However, a common theme has emerged and there is a large number of unregistered voters in a county such as Camden, which has a little more than 50,000 residents, according to the 2012 Census estimates.

In November 2012, a little more than 18,000 people cast a ballot in Camden that featured the presidential race between Republican Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Obama received 35 percent of the Camden vote. However, the big picture scenario is that there were 27,000 actively registered voters on November 6 2012.

Nine thousand registered voters in Camden didn't bother to cast a ballot that day.

Overall, there are approximately 36,000 people who are 18 and over or of voting age in Camden, but as of November 2013, the number of registered voters in Camden has dropped to 24,271.

So it is fair to say there are at least 10,000 adults who reside in Camden who are not registered. Some are Republicans, many may be independents and/or Democrats.

Elected government in cities such as Kingsland and St. Marys consists exclusively of Republicans.

Overall, Camden has 14 individual election precincts. Barack Obama did win a single precinct in 2012 with 56 percent of the vote-- North Kingsland.

For the most part, Democrats have been relatively competitive, but voter participation and lower registration figures have had an impact which has allowed Republicans to maintain control for multiple election cycles.

One example is the North St. Mary's precinct. Barack Obama came close to winning it, but among all the fourteen precincts, North St. Marys had the lowest voter participation rate with 48 percent.

If there were better turnout among Democrats, this precinct would have likely gone to President Obama. The state average for participation in November 2012 was 72 percent.

The following is a look at how President Obama did among the fourteen Camden precincts in November 2012:

34% EAST KINGSLAND
38% MARY LEE CLARK
23% WEST SAINT MARY
27% WEST KINGSLAND
32% MUSH BLUFF
56% NORTH KINGSLAND
37% KINGSLAND
39% SOUTH ST MARYS
47% WOODBINE
22% HARRIETTS BLUFF
48% NORTH ST MARYS
37% WAVERLY
36% TARBORO
20% BROWNTOWN

Historically, Camden County has been a conservative stronghold, but there is a progressive presence in this southeastern Georgia county with a potential which has been untapped.

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