Jerry Porter, 87, looked lively as he spoke to voters and passersby outside Garnet Patterson Junior High on 10th Street in northwest Washington, D.C. The light drizzle did not affect his upbeat mood as he quickly voted and later spoke about his important position in the Democratic State Committee for the District of Columbia.
“I am one of the District of Columbia electors,” Porter said. “There will be three of us and if Obama wins D.C., I will be one of the people casting the vote for him at Congress.”
Porter, who has been retired since 1973, never thought he would live to see an African-American man run for president. “I had hoped that this would come but I thought that before we were able to get an African American man we would probably see an African-American women being nominated and elected as opposed to a man,” Porter said.
He said he is pleased with the selection of Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential nominee.
“Obama, to me, epitomizes, in my judgment, the kind of person that we would like representing, not only as a race but a representation all of us,” Porter said. “He has demonstrated by the kind of people that he has around him that he is going to be able to go forward with programs that are intended to help everybody.”
Porter said the United States needs someone intelligent like Obama and he didn’t see the same intellectual rigor in Republican candidate Sen. John McCain. He is optimistic that Obama will win and the African-American community will rejoice in a positive manner.
“I’m hopeful that they will regard it just as another election,” Porter said. “I’m sure that they will be exuberant in their joy and celebrate in a manner that with in winning will be a tribute to everyone.”
If Obama wins, he plans to celebrate with other supporters. “I believe most people are going to listen to their momma and vote for Obama,” Porter chuckled.