Young Dems gathering to debate issues

FAYETTEVILLE Philip Gilfus is the youngest person to sit on the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners and the 29-year-old lawyer and Army veteran is the face of the Democratic Party's future.

"We are kind of ready to be in charge not just knocking on doors, actually at the table making decisions," Gilfus said.

His take charge attitude will be big talk as Gilfus and Young Democrats from across the state hold their convention in Fayetteville over the weekend.

"And now is the time to put together the pieces of the puzzle to create and promote activism among the youth," Young Democrats Chairman Conen Morgan said.

They are a generation disappointed with what they say they see as old and out of touch politics in Washington. They say they are disappointed by the political infighting and back-biting among Democratic leaders.

"Focus on the issues not the politics, that's what you were elected for," Johnston County Political Activist Jenifer Bubenik said. "You were not elected to say, 'hey I'm going to work with just Republicans or just Democrats,' you were elected to say I'm going to work with the people of North Carolina."

Their mission is to get young voters motivated to vote again and get young business and civic leaders to run for local, state and national offices. They say it is time for changing of the guard.

"Now instead of just voting, what we need to do is show up at difference events and show up at town halls and make out voices heard, more than just at the ballot box," Cumberland County Young Democrat Charles Pennington said.

There will be a lot of talk, politicking and debating over the next couple of days. The three top Democrats hoping to take Republican Richard Burr's Senate seat will hold their first public debate Saturday before the Young Democrats.

The Young Republicans are also getting ready for their state convention. It will be held in Charlotte in early May.

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