Local Dems Get State Recognition

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Melba Clark, chairman of the Lauderdale County Executive Committee and a delegate to the national convention, and longtime Democrat Bill Ready, Sr., were presented the awards.

Ikie Ethridge, a Democrat and former Lauderdale County supervisor and school superintendent, made an informal presentation to Clark Friday at the Lauderdale County Courthouse.

Clark said she was both pleased and surprised. Then she turned to Bill Ready and gave him a lifetime achievement award, bestowed by the state party.

"I do appreciate the honor and the award," said Ready. "And I'm just here to tell you that it may be a lifetime award but it don't mean it's over. We're just getting started."

Clark was asked if the Democrats could win the state of Mississippi for presidential candidate John Kerry.

"I don't know. I'll tell you what. When I went to the Democratic Convention, I was surprised with the number of Democrats who were represented there," Clark said. "So I certainly feel good and our national convention person says the Democratic Party is more united now than it has ever been before. We're hoping that the feeling of being united for a change will translate to Mississippi and we certainly hope to make a good run for it."

Ready said his party could win nationwide.

"You know and I know that probably in the history of the United States, presidential elections are determined within the last three or four weeks of the campaign and we're not there yet. Right now if they held an election today I would suspect Kerry would pull and win it by a very small majority. On the day of the election in November, Lord only knows," Ready said.