Boisterous laughter and unbridled enthusiasm rippled through American Legion Post 64 Friday night as more than 100 supporters gathered at the Washington County Democratic Party's annual fall dinner.
"I think there is a lot of enthusiasm this year," said Ohio Senator Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville.
With so many attack ads and negative mailers during election season, Gentile said that people are turned off by all the negativity in this year's campaign and is confident that Ohioans will resonate with his agenda, to keep jobs in the hands of Ohioans.
Washington County Democratic Party chairwoman Molly Varner said she was hopeful the dinner would help invigorate party members in the last big push before the election.
"These dinners are about making sure that the Democratic base stays enthusiastic and informed in the last days of the campaign. We want to get them out talking to friends and neighbors," said Varner.
She said she also hoped the event would help highlight the Ohio Supreme Court Justice races, which often fall under the radar.
"They are not as 'razzmatazz' as the other races, but they are just as important," she noted.
Indeed, the dinner's keynote speaker, Ohio Sen. Mike Skindell, is one of the candidates for Justice this year.
"Democrats have not elected a Justice since 2000," said Skindell.
Of seven Ohio Supreme Court Justices, currently only one is a Democrat. Skindell said he has been campaigning hard, fighting against the Democratic fall off in recent years.
Former U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson said the high rate of absentee and early voting is encouraging.
"I look forward to rallying all the troops," said Wilson, who is trying to win back his seat in Congress.
Ohio House of Representatives hopeful Charlie Daniels said he has enjoyed his campaigning experience and was using Friday's dinner to acknowledge all the people who have helped his campaign.
"Tonight is about thanking everybody that has helped out this campaign. Washington County is full of some really great people," said Daniels.
Randy Burnworth, candidate for Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge, agreed.
"Most of all, I am thankful for all the support I have had. I hope to be elected judge," he said.
Burnworth was one of many local politicians to get in on the action Friday. Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews, who was recently invited to lead the Pledge of Allegiance before President Barack Obama's speaking engagement in Athens, recounted the exciting experience.
"I don't know how I was selected, but it was an honor to meet Mr. Obama," said Matthews.
Thought Matthews is not up for re-election this year, he said he is rooting for all of his fellow Democrats.
Washington County Commissioner Cora Marshall said she enjoyed getting out, meeting people and answering questions.
"When you get all these people together like this, it helps generate a little burst of enthusiasm before the election," added Ohio Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Athens.