Listening to some of the things GOP leaders said about her party was not the most pleasant experience, she said.
“Some times it makes your skin crawl when you hear some of the comments, and sometimes you know they’re not as accurate or maybe a little bit embellished, but the fact of the matter is for me, I like to be an informed voter, and I would like to think that most people are that way, because there may be some things that Republicans disagree with amongst each other,” Kelly said. “It’s the same for Democrats, and you can admire where the decision makes sense. If there’s a plan that makes sense that will benefit everybody, then that’s really what we should be voting about.”
Kelly, who works for Anheuser-Busch and was appointed to the Marietta Housing Authority by Mayor Steve Tumlin, said this is her first time as a delegate.
State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell), who will also be attending as a first-time delegate, said she has been keeping an eye on the GOP convention coverage as well.
“The parts that I could stomach,” Morgan said. “I’ve watched pieces of it. I watched Rubio last night, a little bit of it. I saw some of Ryan’s speech. It is difficult to watch. I don’t think it would be as difficult if they were telling the truth about things. Rather than what the Republicans were for, I felt like it was a bashing convention. I fully expect that our convention will be very different. Much more positive. Much more forward-looking.”
Morgan said she is excited about promoting such issues as education reform and marriage equality for same-sex couples, regardless of how controversial those topics may be.
“I believe in equality,” Morgan said on the topic of same-sex marriage. “I believe in this country where many of our forefathers fought for liberty and equality that an adult who is a taxpayer and a citizen of this country ought to have equal rights.”
Lassiter High School graduate Gillian Griffin, a junior studying political science at Kennesaw State University, is part of a group of KSU students who are attending the convention as observers. Griffin said she will be conducting a survey on attendees on the topic of social media.
“I am really excited,” Griffin said. “I’m most excited to see just politics first-hand. I’m definitely someone who always reads the newspaper and watches the news, and it will be really exciting to actually observe it.”
Griffin said while she has many Republican friends, she will likely be voting for President Barack Obama.
However, “I think Obama had a more electrifying campaign four years ago,” she said. “Right now obviously he is the underdog with the economy the way it is.”
Morgan also acknowledged that there was more excitement about Obama in his first campaign.
“There’s not as much excitement across the board because I think that the country has become so polarized,” Morgan said. “The Republicans in Congress have become so committed to seeing his demise that they have been willing to risk it all. And I think that has dampened the spirit of America. When you’re willing to and were successful in making sure that we lose our credit rating as a country at all costs because your sole agenda was to defeat this president, then I have to wonder how patriotic you really are.”
Still, both Morgan and Kelly believe Obama’s chances of being re-elected are favorable.
“I’m not really seeing any strong plans that are coming forward (from Republicans),” Kelly said. “I hear all the things that are not going well, but I’m not seeing solid plans and how to make the economy better from the Republican Party.”
Other delegates from Cobb include John Morgan of east Cobb, 69, a retired college professor; and Tania Phillips, 35, of Acworth, a financial services representative. Both are first-time delegates. Don Wilson, 54, of Marietta, vice president of operations and general counsel for Oriris Global Corp, another delegate, said he was also a delegate to the Denver convention in 2008.
All told, 124 Georgia delegates are attending the convention in Charlotte, which will see such speakers as Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Caroline Kennedy, John Kerry, Barbara Mikulski and Elizabeth Warren. The first two days of the convention, Tuesday and Wednesday, will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena. Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President on Thursday at Bank of America Stadium.