Saturday was a big day for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Many of you may have heard about the fundraiser being held in Charlotte - the Sanford Hunt Frye dinner. As Democrats from across the state gathered for the gala, a much smaller group of 38 members of the Executive Council met earlier in the day to conduct the party's business. Several important decisions were made - all of which move the party forward.
Congratulations go out to Kimberly Nash Reynolds, the new Executive Director of the NCDP. Kimberly currently lives in Raleigh and has a tremendous amount of experience in politics. She has led the House Democratic Caucus and served as Chief of Staff to Walter Dalton.
We are also very lucky to have Doug Wilson back as Deputy Executive Director. He will bring continuity to our leadership team having served the Party as political director during Randy Voller's tenure as chair. It is my understanding that Doug will work out of Charlotte. Doug was very responsive when he served as political director. We are very lucky to have him back.
The Executive Council also issued the final ruling on the Chris Hardee appeal. In a decisive 34 to 4 vote, the Executive Council overturned the Brooks Council of Review decision to remove Chris from the position of 3rd Congressional District Chair. It is encouraging to see saner heads taking control of important decisions.
Probably the best part of the day was when I heard about the number of Young Democrats who had made the trip to participate in moving our party forward. Commissioner Pat Cain Cotham provided the pictures that streamed across my Facebook feed and all I can say is, "WOW! What a great looking group of YDs!" Almost the entire YD Board volunteered to serve as proxies for those voting members of the Executive Council who could not make the trip to Charlotte. What an amazing and dedicated group of Democrats.
With business out of the way, it was time to raise money for the party so we can get back to the business of electing Democrats. The Sanford Hunt Frye Banquet was named for former governor and Senator Terry Sanford, Governor Jim Hunt, and former Chief Justice Henry Frye. SHF began its life as a lower priced event intended to allow volunteers who aren't able to afford the pricier galas a chance to participate and rub elbows with our state's Democratic leaders. With the loss of the tax checkoff money, the party could no longer afford to hold the event at $35 and under Chairman Randy Voller, the price was raised to $100 per person in 2014 and it remained at that level for the 2015 fundraiser.
This did not stop Democrats from heading to Charlotte to mingle with friends, dine on good food, and enjoy a fiery, motivating speech given by my childhood governor, Jim Hunt. I hope to have pictures later. I've spoken to many of my friends who were able to attend and have heard nothing but good things. There is a lot of work to do to prepare for 2016. It is good to get together, share ideas, offer encouragement, and wrap our arms around each other in preparation for the upcoming battle at the ballot box.