By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express
---- — Ron Long admits he was never really active in politics until 2007, but he is ready to lead the Marion County Democrats.
Long moved to his home outside of Pella that year. Being older and retired, he began to pay more attention to the politics going on around him.
Long used to be a Republican. As he got older, he found that his principles do not align with the GOP. One of his first political experiences as a Marion County resident also had a major impact on him.
When candidate Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Knoxville, at the Skate Pit, Long and his wife came over to see him. Long made it through the crowd and was directed to a seat near where Obama made his entrance. The future president shook Long’s hand, but it would not be the last time the two would meet.
When Obama was back in the campaign trail in 2012, Long went to the Nelson Pioneer Farm in Oskaloosa for an event. As luck would have it, he once again got to shake hands, this time, with the sitting President of the United States.
Long had not been in the role of chair for very long before being interviewed. He did not have time to form any long-term plans for the party. What he is going to focus on is promoting Democratic candidates, fundraising and working within the party. Long plans to be flexible, not push his personal beliefs onto others in the party and work for the betterment of the Democratic Party overall.
Long takes over for the retiring chair, Anita Martin.