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US county declares 'Barack Obama Day' as new November holiday

Monday, November 16, 2009

A small central Alabama county whose mainly black residents gave the president-elect more than 70 per cent of the vote on Election Day has declared the second Monday in November Barack Obama Day. 

The Perry County Commission voted four to one to observe the holiday. County offices will close and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid holiday.

The sponsoring commissioner, Albert Turner junior, said the holiday is intended to highlight the Democratic president-elect's Nov 4 victory as a way to give the county's 12,000 residents, the majority of whom are black, faith that difficult goals can be achieved.
Mr Obama will become the country's first black president when he takes office on Jan. 20.
Commissioner Brett Harrison said Wednesday he voted against the resolution because of the holiday costs to the county, which has a $2.2 million (£1.5 million) annual payroll and is one of the poorest in the state. He said closing the courthouse would also idle some state employees.
"I'm a Democrat, but just in these financial times, it's not using the county's money wisely," Mr Harrison told The Associated Press. "The recognition is certainly well-founded."
An AP exit poll found black voters in Alabama almost universally supported Mr Obama, while more than 80 per cent of whites in the state backed Republican John McCain. Mr McCain carried the Southern state with 60 per cent of the vote.

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