Local volunteers say their work isn't over yet

With an Oregon victory under their belt, local Barack Obama supporters have reason to celebrate, and although the local race has been decided volunteers on both the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns say their work is far from over.

Obama claimed 58 percent of the primary vote in Oregon Tuesday, with Clinton trailing behind at 42 percent. In Kentucky, however, Clinton defeated Obama by a 35 point margin.

Kate Ferrara, an Obama volunteer who spent two to three hours canvassing each evening after a full day of school and work, has a long list of things to do she put off during the campaign, like seeing her friends and doing laundry.

"I just want to feel like at the end of the day I did everything I could do to help Barack become president, because after today it's out of Oregon's hands," she said as voters turned in their ballots on Tuesday.

This morning, after all her work had paid off, Ferrara took a moment to reflect.

"I'm really excited to just relax a little bit the next few days and have a little bit more normal life," she said. "But we're definitely all going to be in it for the long haul."

Suzanne Frey, who volunteered full-time throughout April and May, is headed for Ojai, Calif. for a breather before the general election. Since she got involved with the campaign after Super Tuesday in February, Frey helped coordinated nearly 50 house parties in Jackson County and organized the Obama booth on the plaza every weekend in April to register voters and hand out information.

This is the first presidential campaign she's been deeply involved in, and she gave up all other volunteer commitments to dedicate herself to the campaign. The time was well worth the effort, she said, and she plans to coordinate more house parties for the general election if needed.

"After I get back from taking a break, which I badly need, I'm going to stop and reassess and see where things are," she said. "I'm hoping by early June there will be more clarity about the nomination."

Members of the local Clinton campaign are still working on full steam for that nomination.

Darby Stricker, who led the visibility committee for Clinton in Ashland, said she was disappointed with Oregon's results, but she is already gearing up for the online effort in Florida and Michigan.

"I'm exhausted," Stricker said. "I gave her everything I had, and I'm not done. As long as she's not, I'm not done."

In addition to working on visibility, Stricker served as a volunteer coordinator, chaired fundraising efforts and traveled to San Antonio to campaign, spending about 25 hours per week on top of her normal work week because she believes Clinton is better prepared to defeat Senator John McCain in November.

"Kentucky was exciting and reaffirming that she's the better candidate," Stricker said. "Last night didn't change anything is, I think, what the disappointment is. I would have liked to have seen her win both states because it would have changed the feeling of the campaign. Obama isn't better off, and neither is she."

But Jennifer Miller-Brian, who celebrated with Obama's campaign Tuesday night, said the Kentucky victory didn't faze her.

"That was expected," she said. "It didn't dampen our spirits or put our fire out last night at all ... Hillary is an amazing woman, and if I was her I'd probably keep fighting too."

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or .

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