A festival that was supposed to be fun for the entire family ended up causing a stir in the political community.
Susan McKenney is the president of the Marshall County Democratic Party. She said the Boaz Chamber of Commerce told her the Harvest Festival is a non-partisan even, meaning her club could not set up a booth this year.
McKenney respected this new "no politics" policy. She did not question it until she was told about the welcome ceremony. It featured elected Republicans, including Alabama Senator Clay Scofield.
"We were not welcoming only Republicans," Scofield said. "We were welcoming everyone."
Senator Scofield said his message was not political at all and Republicans did not have a booth this year as well.
However, that was not the only thing that bothered McKenney. She said someone sent her a photo of a vendor selling unofficial President Trump merchandise.
"The man that was selling the merchandise may not have the words, Democrat or Republican, in his name, but he was certainly making a political statement," McKenney said.
Mckenney said she asked the chamber why he was allowed to stay and they told her he was not technically claiming a party. However, the most frustrating part for McKenney was the fact her party was not able to use the event to register people to vote.
"There are 21,000 people here in Marshall County that are eligible to vote, but are not registered," McKenney said.
Senator Scofield understands the frustration and said both sides should work together.
"We definitely welcome their voter registration drives, and I know that they would do the same for us," Scofield said.
McKenney said while they missed out on registering voters, they are not giving up.
"I'm hopeful that this will cause the chamber of commerce and maybe other communities to be a little more introspective and realize that voter registration is important, and that the Democrats are really nice people," McKenney said.
We reached out to the Boaz Chamber of Commerce and visited the office. They had no comment.
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