Mississippi’s Delegation ‘seized the moment’ at the Democratic National Convention

97-year-old Miss. Delegate Elzena Johnson

By Othor Cain

Managing Editor

Mississippi may have had one of the smallest delegations to attend the Democratic National Convention (DNC), recently held in Charlotte, N.C., but no one can argue that perhaps the magnolia state had the most spirit and some of the best visibility and media exposure.

Media outlets across the globe including China, Australia, the BBC in England and the Al Jazeera network in the Middle East, chopped (chomped) at the bits to spotlight some of the ‘Mississippi Stars.’

One star was Kelly Jacobs, whose decorative clothing garnered her a place in the national spotlight. Jacobs, a delegate from District 1, showcased homemade sequined reversible shirts and dresses trumpeting her loyalties for President Barack Obama. “I am a die-hard Democrat and I support President Obama 150 percent,” she said.

Another Mississippi Star that captured the hearts of millions was 97-year-old Elzena Johnson of Terry, Miss. Johnson, the grandmother of eight, took home the coveted title of being the oldest delegate at the national convention.

97-year-old Miss. Delegate Elzena Johnson

Attending her first convention after a lifetime of being a mother, a champion swimmer in the senior Olympics well into her 80s, a Terry board alderwoman and most importantly according to her, a loyal Democrat, Johnson said it was an experience of a lifetime.

Johnson was first eligible to vote for a presidential candidate in 1936, casting her ballot for Franklin Roosevelt. At the DNC, she made history for Mississippi, when U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson, who represents Mississippi’s second congressional district, gave her an opportunity from the convention floor to cast the delegate vote for the state. “I was so nervous and so excited,” Johnson said. “I’m ready to spread this excitement all around the state.”

Prior to Johnson casting the state’s vote, Thompson gave way to the state of Ohio to cast the conventions vote for Obama, partly because it is a swing state, “We did this because we wanted to leave unified,” Thompson said.

“Ohio you are now charged with the responsibility of making sure Barack Obama carries your state.”

Johnson, who will turn 98 Sept. 25 is wrapping up her final term after being elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2000 in Terry, plans to take her normal place as a poll worker during the upcoming presidential elections.

With six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild, Johnson hopes an Obama victory to a second term will extend the Democratic legacy to future generations. “I think the Democratic Party is finally ready to get on the ball now,” she said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.