June 16, 2004 In an effort to give St. John Democrats a voice, Craig Barshinger is organizing a Democratic Club. He has called a meeting at 6 p.m. June 23 at the Westin Resort and Villas. He needs 25 people to sign the charter to make the club official.
"I'm doing this because there appears to be some level of contentment with St. John not having a voice," he said, referring to the Democratic Party hierarchy.
Democratic State Chairman James O'Bryan was off island and could not be reached for comment. St. John Administrator Julien Harley, a top St. John Democrat, also was not available for comment.
Barshinger said that St. Thomas and St. Croix both have active Democratic Clubs. The clubs are not the same as organizations like the Territorial Committees but rather grassroots organizations. "The clubs feed into the district," he said.
Barshinger said that Democratic Party bylaws allow St. John to have its own club.
He said that despite his efforts to convince Democratic Party officials to do so, there were no polling places set up in St. John when Democrats voted on April 17 for delegates to the Democratic Convention. He said, as far as he knows, beside himself, probably only one other St. John registered voter made the effort to vote in St. Thomas. Anyone registered Democrat had the right to vote for convention delegates.
Election officials said that as of July 2002 St. John has a total of 1,630 registered voters. Of that figure, 643 are registered Democrats, 807 had no party affiliation, 91 were registered members of the Independent Citizens Movement, and 89 were registered as Republicans.
To register to vote, visit the Elections Board office at the Battery on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Barshinger said that he plans to run in the November election for the senator at large seat. He has made several unsuccessful tries for the job.
For more information, call Barshinger at 693-5000.
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