POMPANO BEACH, Fla. - You can hear the sounds of hot dogs and hamburgers grilling. The man at the barbecue jokes that he trained at a culinary arts school for 14 years to do this.
A few yards away, an elderly woman is face to face with Congressman Ron Klein.
"So how come they voted him in?" she asks.
Klein, getting a gentle grilling, responds that's just who the voters had chosen in a particular primary race. Two weeks after the August primary, Congressman Klein is back out on the stump. He takes the microphone at the North Broward Democratic Club picnic in Pompano Beach.
"We're counting on you. It's not just about me. It's about all of us," he says to the crowd of about 75 people.
The Democratic incumbent has a tough challenge in the fall from Republican Allen West. It's a rematch from 2008 and this time West is a more well-known, and well-funded candidate. Still Klein says no one will outwork him.
"I will knock on as many doors, make as many phone calls, go to as many places to make sure our message is real clear on where we need to take the country."
While most of the politicians and political hopefuls at the picnic reside in Broward County, state Senate candidate Kelly Skidmore needs to appeal to people on both sides of the Palm Beach and Broward County line. She faces Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff in a district that snakes all the way from Ft. Lauderdale north to Juno Beach.
"It's a pretty big stretch. We're definitely working it up the coast and making sure we meet with our voters and talk with everybody," said Skidmore.
Many political pundits see storm clouds ahead for the Democrats as the enthusiasm and momentum from 2008 have given way to the hard reality of high unemployment and a weak economy.
Political candidates regardless of party know that a burger on Labor Day may translate to a ballot on Election Day, but they'll still be out campaigning hard until then.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List
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