“What more of an appropriate way to spend my Presidents Day than here?” said Carnes, 17.
Carnes said he was encouraging people to cast early ballots and doing some polling to find out what the main concern people have for the upcoming election.
“We’re hearing a lot about the economy,” he said. “Everyone’s hurting right now.”
For the most part, the people he reaches on the other end of the line are pleasant, he said.
“What I’ve been trying to do all day is just be personal,” Carnes said. “They are your neighbors. We’re calling Georgians. We are Georgians. So you just be personal with them. They are, by and large, nice.”
Small-business owner Ginger Roberts, who lives near Town Center Mall and heads up the Cobb field office, said its primary function is to have volunteers make calls with its 15 phones and provide campaign signs and literature to voters.
Roberts said the office opened last week, while another Newt 2012 field office opened a few days ago in Augusta. Atlanta remains the campaign headquarters, although they look to open several more offices in places such as Savannah and Warner Robins in the coming days.
“Obviously, it’s a large county,” Roberts said as to why it’s important to have an office in Cobb. “It’s Newt’s old district. So I think there’s a little bit of that. But it definitely is a core center for getting closer to the northern part of the state, just getting a little bit more outside of Atlanta. There’s just a heavy base here of Newt supporters, and it gives us the ability to just transfer the information.”
State Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-east Cobb) donated her campaign headquarters for the office. Cooper, who chairs the state House’s Health and Human Services committee, said she gave the campaign the space because she supports Gingrich “100 percent.”
“He’s the best candidate to take on Obama, and also I support him because of his knowledge of the health field, and I want to see ObamaCare go away,” said Cooper, who is a registered nurse and whose husband is a doctor. “We need change in the system, but we need a change that does not allow anyone to get between the patient and their doctor.”
Cooper, who chairs Gingrich’s 6th Congressional District campaign, says being involved in the race is a thrill.
“It’s the first presidential campaign I’ve ever worked on, and having it next door is certainly easier than going to Iowa and South Carolina like I did, and the weather is a lot better,” she said with a laugh.
Campaign volunteer Liz Bozzuto, a grandmother of 20 who lives in the Indian Hills Subdivision, said she’s been a fan of Gingrich since the days when he was a congressman and lived in her neighborhood. When she learned about the field office opening up, she called Roberts.
“I can’t lift things. I’m 74, and I’m not as strong as I once was, but I spent a lot of years on the phones working suicide hotlines, crisis intervention centers … so I’ve done lots of phone work, so I thought surely I can do this,” Bozzuto said.
Bozzuto said she is enjoying the calls.
“I’ve been really blessed because people are wanting to chat … the last lady I spoke to is 94, and they’re delighted to hear a live voice on the other end, so I deviate from the norm and say, ‘How are you? What’s going on?’ And they’re glad to talk to you, and they tell you why they’re going to vote for him, this sort of thing.”
There are those who become cross if she calls in the middle of their dinner, but Bozzuto said she understands.
“It’s neat to connect with people who are as concerned as I am about what’s going on,” she said.
Residents interested in volunteering at the Cobb field office may call Roberts at (770) 330-8955 or stop by at 1234 Powers Ferry Commons, Suite 105, in Marietta.