mghughes's blog

Recommitting to my local party

Since Election Day folks have asked me what’s next. Some of those people asked me to consider running for state party chair or for one of the other positions in state party leadership. However, I have decided to run for re-election as the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party while working with new state party leadership to make a stronger state party.

The path forward: A reinvigorated, refocused state party

One of Randy Voller’s last acts as chair was to announce that he would not run for re-election to helm the North Carolina Democratic Party. He must be commended for his announcement as it was a selfless ownership of responsibility for this year’s election and provides the opportunity for the Party to start anew ahead of the 2016 elections. North Carolina Democrats have a lot of work cut out for them, yet I remain optimistic for what lies ahead for our party.

Expanding Early Voting in Orange County

Yesterday, I attended the Board of Elections meeting where they were to approve the early vote schedule for the fall. Though I knew there could be some others in attendance regarding an early vote site on campus (I was part of the informal committee looking for sites and suggested Carolina Hillel as a possibility, which was eventually approved). There were at least a dozen people in attendance speaking, as I did, in support of expanded hours on Saturday and adding Sunday as a voting day. While Orange County exceeded the number of hours required by law in the primary, I believe we should expand hours even more. Because of the response, the Board is delaying their decision next week.

The North Carolina Fund and Why I'm a Democrat

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Fund, started by Governor Terry Sanford in 1963. I first learned about the North Carolina Fund in my North Carolina history class taught by Professor Jim Leloudis at UNC Chapel Hill. I learned about a program that sought to make North Carolina a true leader and remedy the issues effecting her. The North Carolina Fund’s primary aim was to solve issues in health care, education, jobs, and community development. Though I was not aware of this program until my college years, it is clear that the values that started the North Carolina Fund are the same values that make me a Democrat.

2013 Legislative Breakfast

Legislative Breakfast featuring invited keynote speakers
Congressman David Price and State Senator Josh Stein

The Orange County Democratic Party, in partnership with the Orange County Democratic Women, presents the Orange County Democratic Party’s Annual Legislative Breakfast. In this critical rebuilding year, please join Orange County Democrats as they meet, greet, and hear from our local candidates and prepare for Election 2014. This will surely be a rallying event for area progressives as we set out sights on re-electing Senator Kay Hagan and making gains in the North Carolina General Assembly. More information will be released, including candidate appearances, as we approach the date.

My letter to the Orange County Board of Elections

After reading about changes made in Watauga County, I was prompted to write a letter to the Orange County Board of Elections after several constituents voiced concerns about decision making in other counties. Curtailing a voter's access to the polls is not only undemocratic, but un-American. Below is that letter.

Dear Members of the Orange County Board of Elections,

I am writing in response to concerns voiced to me by constituents in the Orange County community after actions taken by the Watauga County Board of Elections and the Pasquotank County Board of Elections.

"There you go again"

As President Reagan once said, “there you go again.”

The Republican legislative leaders and Governor McCrory have agreed on a so-called tax reform plan that will soon make it to the Governor’s desk and break their very promise to pass a revenue neutral and broad reform plan. What this plan is is a raw deal for North Carolina by saying one thing and doing another.

Orange County Democratic HQ Opening

Recently the Orange County Democratic Party signed a lease for office space located at 209 Lloyd Street (Suite 310 – back of the building) in Carrboro. The office is very amenable to what the Party’s work will be in 2012 and hopefully beyond into the future.

Currently, we’re allowing the Coalition to Protect N.C. Families, OCDP is a coalition partner, to use our office space for the purposes of turning out the vote against Amendment 1. This is just part of the strategy we've adopted in promoting Democratic values in Orange County and statewide, especially since Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough all offer same-sex partner benefits that will be unconstitutional under this amendment.

Orange County's Newest Party Chair

Four weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to stand for election as my county party’s newest chair. As a 21 year old, this election made me the youngest party chair in the state. The overall experience has been a truly humbling and exciting one. Nevertheless, we have a lot of work to do in Orange County and across the state – from Murphy to Manteo.

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