Perry County a small central Alabama county whose mainly African American residents gave president Elect Barack Obama more than 70 percent of the vote on Election Day has created an annual holiday in honor of the president-elect.
The Perry County Commission voted 4 to 1 to observe the second Monday in November as “The Barack Obama Day.” County offices will close and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid holiday.
The sponsoring commissioner, Albert Turner Jr., said the holiday is meant to highlight the Democratic president-elect’s victory as a way to give people faith that difficult goals can be achieved.
The majority of the county’s 12,000 residents are black.
The county commission’s three black members and one of its two white members voted for the resolution.
Commissioner Brett Harrison said Wednesday he voted against the resolution because of the holiday costs to the county, which has a $2.2 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,” Harrison told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday. “The recognition is certainly well-founded.”
Turner said copies of the resolution, adopted at a Nov. 25 meeting, have been mailed to Obama and his transition team.
An Associated Press exit poll found black voters in Alabama almost universally supported Obama while more than eight in 10 whites backed Republican John McCain. McCain carried the state with 60 percent of the vote.