Progress 2006: Leaders matter UPDATED

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BlueNC's new Progress 2006 initiative focuses on two things: (1) advocating a progressive agenda in North Carolina and (2) educating voters about progressive leaders. This entry is a follow-up discussion of the latter.

Yesterday, Lance did a quick analysis of individuals running for office or holding office who have been brought to our attention by BlueNC readers. As the state gears up for fall political season, we want to continue to educate citizens about leaders we can count on to stand for a progressive North Carolina.

State Legislature

Progressive Incumbents Facing Challengers

Alma Adams (D-H58, Guilford) is up against challenger Olga Morgan Wright.
Julia Boseman (D-S9, New Hanover) up against Sherman Lee Criner.
Linda Coleman (D-H39, Wake) against John W. Blackwell.
Susan Fisher (D-H114, Buncombe) against Mike Harrison.
Joe Hackney (D-H54, Chathan, Moore, Orange) against Alvin Reed.
Pricey Harrison (D-H57, Guilford) is up against challenger Ron Styers.
Ellie Kinnaird (D-S23, Orange Person) against E.B. Alston.
Grier Martin (D-H34, Wake) against Joe Ross

Progressive Incumbents Who Are Unopposed

Alice Bordsen
Janet Cowell
Verla Insko
Jeanne Lucas
Paul Leubke
Deborah Ross
Jenifer Weiss
Larry Womble

New Progressive Challengers

Ty Harrell is challenging Russell Capps (R-H41)
Doug Jones is up against Bill Porter for an open seat (H116, Buncombe)
Joe Sam Queen is up against Keith Presnell (R-S47, Avery, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Yancey).
Ed Ridpath challenging Paul Stam (H37, Southern Wake)
Greer Beaty challenging Pope Puppet Nelson Dollar (H36, Wake)

County Commissioner Races

Gaston County Progressive Challengers
Janette Blandford
Ed Sadler
Bill Whitesides

Who else should be added to the list? At this point, we're focused only on people involved in politics, but I can see this initiative expanding in the future to include other kinds of leaders - individuals who work in non-profit advocacy groups, for example - and build a Who's Who of Progressive North Carolina.

For now though, let's focus on the next 109 days. Who are the real progressive leaders who warrant our attention and support? The people listed above are a great starting point and they are all excellent. Who are we missing?

UPDATE: I'm thinking we'll build and refine this list between now and Labor Day. At that point, we'll lock it down and move into the next phase of action: more education and more support.

UPDATE 2: Please send links to sites that I haven't listed if they're available.

UPDATE 3: I've heard from a few candidates with corrections and suggestions. Much appreciated!


Please spread the word.

And if you're so inclined, volunteer to help manage this initiative. Lance is considering creating an Act Blue page for progressive North Carolina leaders, which would create an easy way for readers to support them. If you want to discuss off-line, just send me an email by clicking on my screen name. Thanks!

And happy Friday!

Some suggestions

Okay, this is a shameless plug both for myself as well as for my fellow candidates in Gaston County, but I would like to see a listing for county commission races. I, Janette Blandford, and two of my fellow candidates, Bill Whitesides and Ed Sadler, are running as progressive Democrats for the Gaston County Commission, which currently consists entirely of conservative Republicans. I'm sure that there are other county commission races in which progressive values are at stake.

I love shameless plugs!

And I love even more that you're a proud progressive. Consider it done.

You're 100.

I love that you have been here long enough to have User ID 100. Shows this wasn't a Johnny come lately post.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Thanks for this list. Very

Thanks for this list. Very interesting.
I'm surprised Ellie Kinnaird has a challenger. That's one of the most liberal districts in the state.

Even more so considering

that Sen. Kinnaird has moved towards the center in recent years. For instance, she voted for a budget that slashed medicaid while giving tax breaks to wealthy indiviudals and corporations. If Virginia Foxx did that we would be decrying her heartless neoconism.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Progressive challengers

Suggest you look at Ed Ridpath, running against Paul Stam, and Greer Beaty, running against Nelson Dollar, both in SW Wake. Fyi, Grier Martin's opponent is Joe Ross, I believe. Marilyn Avila won a Republican primary against Rick Eddins -- one of the Pope-527 races -- and she's unopposed in that district, if I remember correctly.


I've read many articles where Ty Harrell is considered one of the best opportunities for a pickup. That district has changed a good deal since it was originally drawn. The number of Unaffiliated/Independent voters there has reportedly risen dramatically. And most of them are of the young professional set who'd be somewhat more likely to vote for a Dem than a Repub. It's just a matter of getting the word out to them that the Dem in this race is definitely worth taking a look at.