David Ball – For The Record

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been drawing huge crowds to hear him speak across the country since he declared he’s running for president of the United States.

There has also been some respectable sized crowds locally to attend organizational meetings at the grassroots level on behalf of the campaign. The local campaign, Southeast Texans for Bernie Sanders, is drawing from a diverse audience as well.

For instance, Jennifer (who wanted her last name withheld for personal reasons) of Orange said she became involved in the campaign because she believes the country is due for a political revolution.

“That’s a revolution in the form of Bernie Sanders,” she said. “Bernie wants to get money out of politics and support the middle class. I’m tired of oligarchy and I’m tired of corporate greed.”

Jennifer said she has been involved in the political process previously by voting, donating to candidates, attending political rallies and staying informed on the issues.

“I’ll do what I can do for the area by staying in contact with the Bernie Sanders people. I’m excited. I think Bernie Sanders will be the next president of the United States. People should check him out,” she said.

Aron Duhon is an organizer with the campaign. He said he’s devoted to making Bernie Sanders the next president of the United States through the grassroots organization.

“We want to turn out support for Bernie Sanders. We have a lot of support, more than I initially had thought. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. There’s a lot of progressive Democrats,” he said.

Duhon said the main purposed of the local chapter is to plan events and explore and arrange the possibility of Sanders visiting Southeast Texas during the campaign.

Prior to working for the Sanders campaign, Duhon has a Masters in Library Science and he worked as a teaching aide at the University of North Texas.

He moved to Austin to work as an organizer for the Texas State Employees Union before moving back home to Beaumont three months ago. He had family here and he works at a machine shop in Beaumont.

“I believe in his message. He’s the first candidate in a long time that I can get behind,” he said. “He understands what it takes to win: you’ve got to have people power. I knew about Bernie Sanders and I knew if he ran I would support him.”

Duhon said supporters don’t need a lot of experience to help with the Southeast Texans for Bernie Sanders campaign.

For more information, check out the local group at Southeast Texans for Bernie Sanders on Facebook and the national campaign atwww.berniesanders.com.