Submitted Karl Dean, the Democratic Party's candidate for governor, is among those supported by the Macon County Democratic Party in the midterm elections.

Submitted

Karl Dean, the Democratic Party's candidate for governor, is among those supported by the Macon County Democratic Party in the midterm elections.

The 2018 midterm election is less than a week away, and the Macon County Democratic Party is continuing the campaign effort for their candidates up and down the ticket.

"We've had rallies for our candidates plus two or three chili dinners," Macon County Democratic Party Secretary Cathy Farley said. "We've also been doing some canvassing, phone calls and sending post cards."

According to Macon County Democratic Party Chair Ray Tesauro, they have also coordinated with the Smith County, Wilson County and Montgomery County Democratic parties to distribute signs, organize meet-and-greets and raise money.

"We were just at one gathering in Carthage," Farley said. "We invite friends and family into a home, and (the candidate) comes in and talks to them."

Down-ballot candidates Mary Alice Carfi and Carol Abney have been the ones primarily active at meet-and-greet events, while local volunteers have traveled to other counties in support of Phil Bredesen and Karl Dean, who face larger-scale races.

"What we're trying to do is put a face on the party as being inclusive," Tesauro said, noting support from independent conservatives and Republicans as a key factor in the mid-term. "We want people to understand that we're not far-left, and we desire to hear other people's opinions so we can move forward."

Farley said that she sees the Democrats on this year's ticket, from Bredesen and Dean to Carfi and Abney, as candidates that would work effectively across party lines.

"As long as the majority of people (in Macon County and Tennessee) are Republican, their needs have to be taken into account," Tesauro said. "On a national basis, we want to strengthen and preserve our institutions - separation of powers, rule of law and polite political discourse."

The local party's platform is primarily concerned with health care, retirement benefits and the economy.

"Social security is a big deal here, because we have a lot of elderly people in this county," Farley said. "We're also focused on health care, especially for pre-existing conditions, keeping our taxes low and balancing the budget."

Tesauro believes that addressing the national deficit should be a priority because of the current economic climate.

"The economy is very strong right now, and it's a good time to be paying down the debt, not expanding it," Tesauro said. "We're spending like a drunken sailor … and we're concerned to compensate for that there may be deterioration of so-called entitlements (referring to programs such as social security and Medicaid)."

The party is also working to boost voter turnout, which has been low for Tennessee in recent elections in comparison to other states.

"People in Macon County tend to think their vote doesn't count," Farley said. "But Mary Alice Carfi lost her last election by about 300 votes, and she might have won if people went out."

Tesauro believes this year will see a higher number of mid-term voters due to several factors, from the candidates themselves to the current political climate.

"This election is pivotal, and that in itself will drive an interest," Tesauro said. "The angry discourse between politicians and social media agonizing has increased the potential for people to see this election as important."