If you could vote today, who would you support for NCDP Chair?


If "Someone else"

please add a comment. I've heard a lot of chatter that there ought to be at least one woman in the hunt, which is a good point. With Lillian's List coming on strong, and a strong likelihood that Hillary will be running for president in 2016, it makes sense that a focus on mobilizing women has to be a central element of our party's strategy. Not saying that can't be done by a man ... just reporting some of the conversations I'm hearing.

I would like to see a woman

I would like to see a woman throw their hat in the ring. I would like to see the contest for chair have a lot of talented people debating the future of rebuilding this state party and reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party.

At the same time I am seeing more about Mayor Voller that I like:


Voller, who is Chatham County Democratic chairman, said he would focus on party building if he was elected chairman. He said Chatham County had the highest turnout of eligible voters (76.5 percent) of any county in the state in November. He said Democrats in Chatham raised $75,000 during the past year – a large figure for a modest sized county.

I would pick a fourth option ...

... "not enough info to decide" or "not ready to make a decision". Voller looks pretty good, but I want to see how he stands up to scrutiny. Also, I would like to see who else throws their hat into the ring. I like the idea of a woman running for chair but would vote for the person not their gender. I will NOT be voting for Mansfield.

In a month or so, run this poll again, and I'll be more inclined to vote. For me it's too early.

Why assume it's worth working in the Democratic Party structure?

I'd like to see an Unaffiliated Alliance of candidates run for office in NC -- particularly legislative office.

To have an impact, such a group would only need to hold enough seats to control the balance of power in one chamber (preferably both chambers, but one would be a good start). A majority in either chamber wouldn't be necessary.

With such heavily gerrymandered legislative districts, this seems like a much easier path to change than rebuilding a failed brand.


just about impossible to get on ballot as unaffilated

The Dems and the Repubs have made it just about impossible for an unaffiliated candidate to get on the ballot in a partisan race. I was unaffiliated/third party for 19 years and was not able to get much of anything done.



William Bell - Durham, NC
Mark Chilton - Carrboro, NC
Mark Kleinschmidt - Chapel Hill, NC
Elic Senter - Franklinton, NC
Randolph Voller, Pittsboro, NC

I just remembered this national mayors supporting marriage equality effort and decided to double check if Voller was on there, and he is among the North Carolinian mayors standing up for the freedom to marriage in that public way.

David Parker stood up for equality too. The NC Democratic Party and the National Democratic Party and the Democratic President of the United States have stood up for marriage equality.

If I'm reading the General Assembly's website right, last year Senator Mansfield missed the vote making him one of only a few Democrats not to actively vote against it (although he may have had a perfectly legitimate reason he couldn't make it, and he did later help Protect NC Families advocates against the amendment). But he also said the he believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but that he would be okay with civil unions.

I haven't made up my mind on who I'm supporting, not that I get a vote anyways, but I would need to see evolution on this issue. We can't go backwards from a chair who supported full equality to one who doesn't. Forward together.

Regarding votes on constitutional amendments

Not voting at all is as good as a "no" vote.

To pass the NC General Assembly, a constitutional amendment must have the votes of 3/5 of the elected body.

This is different from 3/5 of those present and voting (which is how vetoes are overridden among other legislative business).

To repeat: Not voting on a constitutional amendment has the same effect as a NO vote -- and people counting the votes knew that.

I don't really care about the NCDP Chair race, and I acknowledge that Mansfield has his "marriage is between a man and woman" quote to answer for...

But I'm beyond over people not grasping -- or deliberating misusing -- voting records that then mispresent someone's record.


I am sick and tired of watching the NC Democratic Party Flail.

I have no respect for nor interest in supporting one more republican-lite version. I have no idea why most of the Democrats in NC legislature imagine we can get by with the same old song. If we do not seize the initiative there is no future for anyone in NC, progressive or otherwise. The Cult of Pope about to be in power has yet to reveal just how awful they will be. Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas all make clear where we can expect the Legislature and the Governor to go.

I am sure it is equally clear that we cannot survive by letting them set every agenda and then only react. We need a North Carolina Democratic party leadership that has progressive goals that will matter here, not abject worship for the Democratic Party elite in Raleigh, or Chicago, or DC. They also must be willing to fight for those goals, not take a free ride to the House or Senate and then ignore what is going on or who got them into office.

Many of the people I spoke with in the last year are tired of the same old song about a moderate, comfortable "wonder bread" southern future. They were and are deeply concerned that reality is being ignored at the expense of their future lives by BOTH parties.

Do not expect Obama, Holder or even Saint Hillary to rescue us. They all have their own corporatist agendas that do not bode well for North Carolina.

Amen brother, sister ... or whatever you are

Couldn't agree more.

As an old man, I figure I have one last push in me ... one last chance to raise holy hell to help get our state party moving in the right direction.

That was me: Blues_Dog - an Old School Liberal Democrat

I got so carried away I forgot to sign in. (Brother, if it matters)

Eric Mansfield for NCDP Chair

I am a bit biased because Eric is a friend... but I believe that he is the best choice for Chair at this moment in time. Eric recently told a group of Democrats that this campaign for Chair isn't about him, it is about us and the Party that we seek to build. He is a good man, a great leader, and someone who can bring our Party together.

A snippet from his announcement this morning speaks to this goal:

"After encouraging, and very frank, discussions with Democrats across this state, I am pleased to announce my candidacy to become the Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Martin Luther King, Jr wrote, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The ultimate measure of our Party, and ourselves, does not come when times are good. We will be measured by what we do at this moment.

"I entered politics like many of my generation, inspired by the grassroots movement of President Obama’s 2008 campaign and the possibility of real meaningful change of our politics. My wife and I started the Fayetteville for Obama group, organized his first visit to Fayetteville, and knocked on doors. I was stirred by the notion that a diverse group of people can move their government when they have a common purpose.

"Encouraged by this example, I used this template for my campaign for the NC Senate. We knocked on nearly 10,000 doors. Daily knocking on doors taught me an invaluable lesson that I have continued to carry with me: Leadership does not emanate from the top down, it grows from the people up.

"At this critical junction in our Party’s history, we must not forget why we are Democrats and who we seek to serve. If the definition of a Democrat is someone who fights for the less fortunate, stands up for the weak, and defends the vulnerable then we are Democrats. If the definition of a Democrat is someone who believes that being fiscally responsible does not mean making irresponsible cuts to education, health care, and human services, then place us among the numbered. If being a Democrat means someone who fights for the right of every child to have an excellent education not based on their color, their zip code, or their socioeconomic status but solely because they our children then we are Democrats."


As someone who fought Amendment One over four months, dedicating more of my life to the cause than any before it, I know that he is a dedicated progressive who opposed the amendment. As someone who has been able to get to know Eric over the past year I know that he is someone who is dedicated to grassroots action, positive change, and progressive values.

I believe he is the right man for the job.

The question still remains,

if Eric was so vehemently opposed to Amendment One, why did he absent himself from the actual vote?

This reads like an endorsement. Is it?

Because I can't understand an endorsement done anonymously. Did you intend to log in as Anonymous?

Martha Brock

No, I did not mean to post anonymously.

It was quite unfortunate that it didn't post under my name. Apologies.

Eric missed the vote for family reasons. He had twice rescheduled an anniversary trip and scheduled it for that date only because he had been assured by several folks that the vote would not happen during that time. From his anniversary location he worked the phones AGAINST the Amendment in a bid to help do all he could from afar.

He was one of the first folks to record a video against the amendment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWnQ8ayg_5U

And I formally met Eric for the first time at a fundraiser against the amendment in Fayetteville where he became only the second elected official to keynote.

I know where is heart was, and is, on this issue and criticism of him on the issue is largely driven by misperception in my view.

Thanks for clearing that up

Another question: If he does win the Chair, who will decide who takes his place in the NC Senate?

Mansfield will no longer be in the Senate after Dec 31

He ran for Lt Gov and lost in the primary. He didn't run for his Senate seat again.

This brings me to the question I would be asking if I gave a damn about the NCDP chair race...

Why should we choose a primary loser and campaign consultants that lost so badly in 2012 (amendment, primary and general) to lead the party into the future?

There may be a good reason to care what these people think, but if I were interviewing them for a job, they would need to explain their recent work history. In these cases, the recent history isn't that inspiring.


Ah. I should have known that.

I forgot about the Primary thing. Which I shouldn't have, since District 21 was one of the runoff elections.

Eric doesn't have "campaign

Eric doesn't have "campaign consultants" — he has volunteers, including myself, who have won, lost, and shed blood, sweat, and tears like most of the Blue NC community. Some of us have worked professionally for campaigns, an equal number have not. Eric is not promising anyone a job for anything. He intends to recruit the best staffers and volunteers possible to the NCDP if he wins.

Eric has a 2-1 record as he won a primary and general election by knocking on 10,000 doors and inspiring many. He jumped into the Lt. Governor race at the urging of many and made up a lot of ground in a short period of time.

With that said, the most important things to know about Eric is that he is a man of character, a leader, and someone who walks the walk. He is a Doctor, a veteran, a minister and a father. He is a man of vision and he would make a fantastic surrogate for our candidates. Have you heard him speak?

Mansfield, "marriage is between a man and a woman"

Sadly, after searching for Mansfield's position on Amendment One, this popped up on the BlueNC Q&A from earlier this year in a direct quote from Eric Mansfield:

"Finally, as an ordained Baptist minister, I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman. However, the state should be moving towards civil unions."

It is disappointing to read Eric Mansfield's own words explaining that he does not believe in marriage rights for LGBTs but proposes, instead, civil unions, because he is a preacher apparently uncomfortable in providing the sacrament of marriage to LGBTs.

Read more: http://www.bluenc.com/eric-mansfield-live-qa#ixzz2GBsLrXbF

I'm hoping he'll re-address that

rather than stay on the wrong side of history. He wouldn't be the only politician to evolve on the issue this year.

And while we're on the subject, here's the latest Marriage News Watch:


2013: America on the cusp of social change

(CNN) -- As the final days of 2012 trickle away, an uncommon emotional intensity hangs in the air in America. Something is happening here.

The country stands on the cusp of major change. Gun control is just one of the formerly taboo subjects that has come out of the political closet. Today, a majority of Americans support stricter gun laws, a majority support a more progressive tax system and most favor same-sex marriage. A majority of voters even support the idea of legalizing marijuana.

Obama supports marriage equality for Illinois

"Obama urging state lawmakers to legalize gay marriage in Illinois: Sun-Times exclusive"


"As he has said, his personal view is that it's wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally," Inouye said.

The lead sponsors of the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), intend to put the measure up for a vote during the upcoming January lame-duck session.

Marriage equality began in Maine today, could be in Illinois next month, a state where the President likely carries a lot of weight. With more states moving toward marriage equality next year, and DOMA likely to die, the Democratic Party is very clearly on the anti-discrimination side of this debate.

Marriage Equality

I concur. We need to lead on this important issue.
Mayor Randy Voller

nc dem chair

I have an interest in who fills this job. I supported David Parker, still do.

I have watched Eric make a passionate defense of what it means to be a democrat. I do not believe it could be stated any more elegantly, truthfully or better represent the traits that make my democratic heritage precious to me. If he is the candidate, I will do everything in my power to make him successful.

That said, I have been privileged to work with Randy on various issues and have spent more personal time with him. Having stated that, at this time, because of one issue...the medical cannabis act, AKA medical marihuana act, and his positive outlook for the democrats as we go forward, along with his incredible energy has made me a believer.

As a veteran, the issue of making cannabis available for those whose doctors think it is a good treatment option is beyond political with me and my fellow veterans. It is a moral issue.

Randy's position is clear. He supports the right of citizens to have a part in passing the laws that govern them; We have discussed it at length and his answers to support me and other veterans and potential patients compel me to support his efforts at this time.

He is a passionate democrat with the courage to fight for what is right.

he was out of the country


Randy Voller knows how to win elections.

This was amply shown last November, both by the result and turnout in Chatham County, where he is currently Chair. The Democrats held every contested office in this election, including retiring Joe Hackney's House Seat, and two hard fought Board of Commissioner races. The overall turnout was the highest in the state, at 76.5%, with a resounding 80% Democratic turnout.

Randy Voller knows how to run a campaign organization, raise money, and recruit volunteers. Voller knows how to organize, and he knows how to win. He knows election law, and understands the science of elections. His formula can be used by other County Organizations. This knowledge is something the State Democratic Party can use. We need him as State Chair to make this Party to effective and win elections.

What the party needs...

...a Republican-lite. Someone who had no labor support in the primary, lost to an unknown by double digits, and votes with the GOP on medical malpractice.


Believe it or not, I gave to Dole

about ten years ago, too. I was a registered Republican at the time, and pretty much oblivious to what was going on in politics. While I was (already) voting mostly Democrat, I also supported women over men across the board, regardless of party. This is why I supported Liddy back in the early days.

Political ideology should be an evolution. The more you learn, the better you are equipped to make rational and (hopefully) progressive decisions.

Believe it or not...

That's why I didn't mention that part of the mailer. Who he gave money to 10 years ago isn't important to me....but being the only Democrat to vote with the GOP on medical malpractice "reform" in this last session is an eyebrow raiser, especially when in the last days of his primary he was sending out fundraising appeals lamenting big unions bosses.

Just to be clear,

Eric is not "anti-union", as your comment would seem to suggest. The flier was in response to SEANC's (still inexplicable) decision to throw virtually all of its resources into one single campaign. Which they eventually lost anyway.

And to make another thing clear, I'm not in the Mansfield camp. Or the Voller camp for that matter, although I am peering from behind some scrub brush just outside the reach of the light from the flickering camp fire, smelling the vittles cooking and trying to stifle my stomach from growling...sorry, I got carried away with the "camp" analogy.

What I meant to say was, it's a good thing nobody asked me to design that flier, because I would have written something like: Think about it: if SEANC were in league with the Republicans, what better way to help them without seeming to help them than by pissing away a couple of million dollars on one race and ignoring all the other races?

Only thing....

.....is the mailer linked is a Coleman campaign piece, not SEANC's. In fact, I don't recall a negative mailer from SEANC during the primary (Could be wrong on that one, may not have seen everything). But other labor groups didn't endorse Mansfield either and Mansfield's emails in the last days kept referring to unions, not SEANC, buying elections.

And he still was the only Democrat to vote with the GOP on medical malpractice reform.

I would like to hear more about Voller's work on organizing and fundraising, as I think that will be the key in future campaigns. Don't know much about Voller, but wondering if these are the only two running?

The only two so far, anyway

Not sure about the fundraising part, but Mayor Voller is a pretty impressive speaker. He has a "presence", if you catch my drift, which I imagine could be helpful on several fronts, including the loosening of checkbooks.

As far as organizing, he would seem to have some particularly effective skills and approaches, especially on the local level. I say "seem" because I'm not really qualified to assess such things. But his explanation of his campaign's method of analyzing demographic data and putting that information to good use made a lot of sense. Made something seemingly impossible appear much less so. And it worked, so there's that.

I've yet to meet or hear Eric speak, but he's got some pretty good folks backing him up. People I trust, who I don't consider as being part of the "established power base" or whatever the long-suffering disenchanted Trotskyites in the NCDP are calling it these days.

Methinks it's a win/win for the Party, especially if these two guys end up working together after the dust settles.

established power base

Believe they are being called "paid consultants" or "elected officials"

A few things to correct

Mr. Peppers,

I'm sorry to just get back to Bluenc but my mother has been sick and I went to Alabama where she has no internet. I would like to respond to some of the things that you wrote.

Ms. Coleman has a 30 year, very distinguished career in state government. She worked in state government as an employee, a representative, and a member of SEANC. She did a great deal for SEANC including increasing their pay and benefits. She has had a great relationship with them and they supported her. However, their support of her does not make me anti-union. My emails spoke of one organization contributing large amounts of money to any one campaign, not specifically against unions. I would ask that you contact James Andrews who is the state president of the AFL-CIO who besides being a friend of mine he can also speak of his support for me and my relationship with unions and my work with workers compensation.

Secondly, the mailer that you downloaded is wrong. Please go the NCGA website www.ncga.state.us and you will see that 6 democrats, 1/3 of our caucus, voted for SB 33, medical malpractice. (Purcell, White, Jones, Atwater, Walters, and myself) Sen Jones just passed from pancreatic cancer so he is unable to defend his vote. If you would like to see my thought process please read the Op-ed I wrote. http://fayobserver.com/articles/2011/03/20/1079420?sac=Opini

Although I truly regret missing the vote on Amendment 1, I worked across this state by speaking as keynote in Fayetteville, donating money, and doing a video for Equality NC. I was able to get my church and pastor (3000 members) to publicly come out against the amendment. I also have the endorsement of the past two ED's of Equality NC.

Finally, at some point we have to stop the name calling within our own party. We have to understand that a disagreement with a particular idea does not mean disloyalty to our Party's ideals. I spoke out against and was a principle on the Senate floor debate against "A Womans RIght to Know," I spoke out against and worked against the gutting of the Racial Justice Act, I spoke out against and became lead on the lawsuit against the State in regards to redistricting, I spoke out against and campaigned against Voter ID bill, and help to organize 300 faith organizations to march on the General Assembly to bring attention to what legislation was doing to the poor and women.

My platform is very simple, MESSAGE, MOBILIZATION, MENDING, and MONEY. Our message must be consistent concise and clear. We must deliver our message so that it is an alternative to what the Republicans are saying and it has to be pushed throughout all counties. We must MOBILIZE and build a NC Dem Party infrastructure that we own, cultivate and grow. We must recruit, train and push our GOTV. We must MEND our Party so that we are able to debate issues, but understand that we must work together to change our state. I don't mind debating policy because I know we are not a monolithic party like some others. We are Democrats and there will be disagreements. I expect Republicans to skew Democrats records, but I don't expect Democrats to do so. Finally, we must raise MONEY to fund our message and our mobilization.

We need all voices and hands. We must work not as progressives, moderates, whites, blacks, Latinos, gay or straight but as Democrats. The ultimate goal is not to make a better Democratic Party but to create a better state. A great state not just for the CEO of the banks but also for cooks at Burger King, not just for the wealthy in Charlotte, but also for the waitress in Clinton.

Thanks for allowing me to respond to you Mr. Peppers. I look forward to further conversations.


Please clarify

I also have the endorsement of the past two ED's of Equality NC.

What do you mean by this? Do you refer to the NCDP Chair race or a previous race (state senate or Lt Gov)?

I know you weren't endorsed in the 2012 Lt Gov race because Equality NC made no endorsements in the 2012 primary.

Equality NC PAC endorsed you in your 2010 senate race because its board chose to -- certainly not its ED.

Who are the 2 past ED's of Equality NC you refer to? Equality NC has had at least 7 ED's and to my knowledge, not all of them currently reside in NC. I imagine you mean to imply that one is Ian Palmquist, but the other?




Please allow me to clarify, thanks for the reply. You are exactly right, there were no formal endorsements during the LTG race and certainly did not mean to imply that for the NCDP race. However Ian Palmquist and Alex Miller both publicly said that they supported me during the campaign for LTG. I meant personal endorsements not as an organization. Although I did not say the organization endorsed me, I apologize for any implications made towards the organization. Equality NC does a great work It was not my intent to tarnish their name or reputation.

Thank you for the response.

Thank you for the response. I just hope that you will pledge to stand up for all union members, including SEANC, if elected as State Party Chair. Labor, including public workers, needs to be embraced, not shun or taken for granted.

Of course, I would. In fact

Of course, I would. In fact if you will ask the lobbyist a bill came up after the election which would have trimmed some of the health benefits to SEANC. It would have increased copays on meds and increase their deductible, which I think is high. It was blocked in committee, after I explained to some what the bill did and the adverse effect it would have on the health care costs of the members. In fact, it would not have saved money, but lost money and increased costs.

I have a pretty simple philosophy, all bills should be looked at in 3 ways, is it good for the PEOPLE of NC, is it good POLICY, or is it POLITICS. If we get the first 2 right, the 3 usually works out.

I agree with you about "public workers, needs to be embraced, not shun or taken for granted"

Read more: http://www.bluenc.com/comment/reply/28902/152430#ixzz2GlvdSo8L

Randy Voller can raise money.

Mayor Voller raised over $70,000 by the 3rd quarter of 2012 in rural Chatham County, over 3 times the amount the previous chair had raised by 3rd q 2008. Voller has raised over $75,000 to date in 2012, also over 3 times the total raised in 2008.

So, yes, he knows how to do that, too. Check the B of E website for the figures.

Eric Mansfield as a speaker...

@SCHarrison, and others, Eric is one of the best speakers we have in North Carolina. Here are a few examples from the floor:



I love this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvuJKS2QjDk


Eric was a keynote speaker against Amendment One in Fayetteville as well — where he gave the best speech I heard against the Amendment over the course of the seventy-plus events I attended over four months. I wish we had the full video.

Also, on fundraising, he raised over $170,000 in six weeks for LG with the backing of some of the best donors in the state who believe in his capacity to make a difference.

Today he is one of the few with support from grassroots folks, activists, donors and elected officials across the board. I believe he would be able to right the ship almost immediately in the fundraising department.

This was me...

I thought I was logged in. Apologies.

Thought so

Probably something to do with your browser. Whatever that is... :)

Energize the NCDP

Both Mansfield and Randy Voller, who is also running, understand the need to energize the NC Democratic Party going forward. This means working to build each county organization's ability to elect Democrats to office at the county and state and national level.

Randy Voller experienced success in electing Democrats last November when he served as Chatham County Chair. As Mayor for 4 terms in Pittsboro, Voller led the successful campaign for Pam Baldwin, Pittsboro Town Board's first African American member, and Beth Turner and Bett Foley, now serving with her.

Together, they passed unique town resolutions opposing "fracking" and Amendment One, putting the town on record on those issues. Randy Voller continues to be passionate on these ideas, and to fight to build Pittsboro's business community, which has grown under his leadership. Voller serves locally on the Chatham County Economic Development Corp.

Voller has worked for clean air and water by serving on the Triangle Area Rural Organization since 2006, also the Advanced Energy Board, a state wide group.

Voller believes freedom comes through opportunity, and equality, which is why he also serves on the Board of the NC Juvenile Justice Planning Committee.

The NCDP will be well served by each of these men. ejsmith

With only the 2 hats in the ring, I decided on Voller

Seems like he has the party background - county chair, successful GOTV and fundraising, electing dems - that is directly applicable to guiding the NCDP. My only concern, and this applies to Mansfield as well, is that I wonder if he has enough time to devote to the job.

Me too.

I've been studying hard and find myself on the Voller train as well. From what I've learned about his activities in Chatham County, it seems like he has the energy and the creativity to do what needs doing.

Who here actually has a vote for chair?

I do

Gray Newman
Mecklenburg County.

Not I

I have a long way to go before I know the secret handshake.

: )

Who you gonna vote for?

I am voting for

I am voting for some yahoo named Protzman....

Not sure yet, I don't know either one that well.

Well now that you are a Dem again .....

... you could attend your county conventions over the next couple of years and try for a spot on the SEC. If you you did get a seat on the SEC and the timing was right, then you could vote for the chair that will will be leading the NCDP in 2016.

I don't

But from what I've gathered about our readership (not scientific), I'd say somewhere between 1/4 to 1/3 of the people who voted in this poll probably do.

It will be interesting to see the final SEC vote. It could be very close. It would be cool if we had a live blog feed during the process...

I have been a member of the SEC for